Paperback (14 May 2024)

Save $0.12

  • RRP $18.07
  • $17.95
Add to basket

Includes delivery to the United States

10+ copies available online - Usually dispatched within 72 hours

Other formats/editions

Publisher's Synopsis

Sidetracks, Bei Dao's first new collection in almost fifteen years, is also the poet's first long poem and his magnum opus-the artistic culmination of a lifetime devoted to the renewal and reinvention of language. "As a poet, I am always lost," Bei Dao once said. Opening with a prologue of heavenly questions and followed by thirty-four cantos, Sidetracks travels forward and backward along the divergent paths of the poet's wandering life-from his time as a Young Pioneer in Beijing, through the years of exile living in six countries, back to the rural construction site where he worked during the Cultural Revolution, to the "sunshine tablecloth" in his kitchen in Davis, California, and his emotional visit home after a thirteen-year separation ("the mother tongue has deepened my foreignness"). All the various currents of our times rush into his lifelines, reconfigured through the "vortex of experience" and the poet's encounters with friends and strangers, artists and ghosts, as he moves from place to place, unable to return home. As the poet Michael Palmer has noted, "Bei Dao's work, in its rapid transitions, abrupt juxtapositions, and frequent recurrence to open syntax evokes the un-speakability of the exile's condition. It is a poetry of explosive convergences, of submersions and unfixed boundaries, 'amid languages.'"                             

Book information

ISBN: 9780811238441
Publisher: New Directions
Imprint: New Directions Books
Pub date:
DEWEY: 895.1152
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 4626
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 195g
Height: 203mm
Width: 135mm
Spine width: 13mm