Thursday, April 5, 2012

We Bury the Landscapes by Kristine Ong Muslim

Title: We Bury the Landscapes
Author: Kristine Ong Muslim
Release Date: April 1st, 2012
Publisher: Queen's Ferry Press
Pages: 168
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: From Author
Age Group: Everyone
Rating: 4 Stars

We Bury the Landscape is an exhibition of literary art. Ekphrasis, collected. One hundred flash fictions and prose poems presented to view. From the visual to the textual, transmuting before the gallery-goer’s gaze, the shifting contours of curator Kristine Ong Muslim’s surreal panorama delineate the unconventional, the unexpected, and the unnatural. Traversing this visionary vista’s panoply of “rooms of unfinished lives,” the reader unearths and examines and reanimates—revealing the transcendent uncanniness that subsists underfoot.

When I first accepted this review request I had no idea what to expect. This was by far a different type of book that I have not read before and I was interested in how the author would go about presenting her book.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to art I know next to nothing. And trying to interpret it? Forget it. But, what I do love is the artwork itself. I wish I had the ability to do master pieces that get highly valued in museums (then again I wish I could draw a straight line too but that will never happen). So before reading each work I had to look up the piece of artwork that was getting referred to and granted it seems more work than someone should have to do, but it is completely worth it. Unless someone is an art guru and can tell what the piece of artwork that gets mentioned at the beginning is, I think that looking up the piece helps a lot.

When looking up the artwork, compared to what the author writes, so much can be taken out of it, but most importantly is what the author sees compared to what the reader sees. And honestly, I think it was the little details like that that really brought out the stories.

Now do I have a favorite? Not really, I pretty much liked them all for one reason or another. Like most art work, it's not easy to compare them because it's comparing apples to oranges. Each of these stories had something that they brought with them that was original to themselves just as the artwork that inspires the piece are original.

And I little note on the age genre: I couldn't really decide where it goes so I just said everyone because I think this book has a little for everyone no matter what age. 

Honestly, I enjoyed this read because it was different and the stories really came alive to me. Muslim was able to bring something original and amazing, while making it her own along the way.

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