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Fantasy

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Fiction. Drama. Literary Nonfiction. Film. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Part exegesis on Nobuhiko Obayashi's film HOUSE and part meditation on the ineffable specters that inhabit homes and ancestral histories, FANTASY is a daughter's story of her Vietnamese mother and their twin journeys towards belonging with one another and in the world. Where exilic, Fiction. Drama. Literary Nonfiction. Film. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Part exegesis on Nobuhiko Obayashi's film HOUSE and part meditation on the ineffable specters that inhabit homes and ancestral histories, FANTASY is a daughter's story of her Vietnamese mother and their twin journeys towards belonging with one another and in the world. Where exilic, inherited memory encounters its limits, FANTASY reaches towards cult cinematic atmospheres, irreverent flowers, pop culture, and photographs with no images, making for a reading experience like no other. "The semi-autobiographical fantastic FANTASY of Kim-Anh Schreiber is rooted 1/4 in Vietnamese/Germanic realism and ancestral context, 1/2 in Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 HOUSE, 1/4 in matriarchal estrangement, and 0% bikini-clad pool party. Schreiber uses the fabric of cinema and horror to quasi-measure the length and width of her pre-adolescent and adolescent consciousness. It's a GORGEOUS dress that the ghost in her psyche demands that it wears before falling into ash. Here, in these immolatable, scriptive dialogues with all of her consanguineous, anecdotal, exegetical selves ('who become shoes without feet that walk back and forth' in a house that eats like hungry ghosts), her psyche is cut, recut, uncut, though not forgotten, un-linearly and nonchalantly and numerously, by her relationship to film and her relationship with her Vietnamese mother, surrogated mother in grandmother(s) and auntie(s). Through the art of disfigurement/defacement, her intimate rapport to pain and her sacral joint, and her friendship with abandonment, she is able to elevate her daughterly North Star duties to subliminal heights. As Kim-Anh Schreiber seeks closure with the uncloseable, we see an acutely talented scholar and inventive memoirist on her way to becoming more than Sandra Bullock's neighbor."--Vi Khi Nao "'Every seam I encountered in the fabric of my reality was like a disfigurement that someone had smoothed over and left silent, ' writes Kim-Anh Schreiber in this remarkable investigation of female anger and resilience, intergenerational trauma, and what might be called the development of literacy in the subject of pain. Schreiber, the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee and a German immigrant, combines recognizable modes--memoir, criticism, dramatic play script--into something as uncategorizable as the film she deploys throughout the book as muse and foil: Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 post-Hiroshima 'horror-comedy' HOUSE, in which generations of women are trapped together in a haunted house. Beginning with extended considerations of the instability of memory ('an evocative curator'), of the 'impossible problem of drawing a picture, ' and of the pull to use projection and doubling as bridges across gaps in experience and understanding, FANTASY finally resolves into a flickering, unstable but vivid portrait of a mother and daughter both separated and bonded by history, violence, human fallibility, and love."--Anna Moschovakis


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Fiction. Drama. Literary Nonfiction. Film. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Part exegesis on Nobuhiko Obayashi's film HOUSE and part meditation on the ineffable specters that inhabit homes and ancestral histories, FANTASY is a daughter's story of her Vietnamese mother and their twin journeys towards belonging with one another and in the world. Where exilic, Fiction. Drama. Literary Nonfiction. Film. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Part exegesis on Nobuhiko Obayashi's film HOUSE and part meditation on the ineffable specters that inhabit homes and ancestral histories, FANTASY is a daughter's story of her Vietnamese mother and their twin journeys towards belonging with one another and in the world. Where exilic, inherited memory encounters its limits, FANTASY reaches towards cult cinematic atmospheres, irreverent flowers, pop culture, and photographs with no images, making for a reading experience like no other. "The semi-autobiographical fantastic FANTASY of Kim-Anh Schreiber is rooted 1/4 in Vietnamese/Germanic realism and ancestral context, 1/2 in Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 HOUSE, 1/4 in matriarchal estrangement, and 0% bikini-clad pool party. Schreiber uses the fabric of cinema and horror to quasi-measure the length and width of her pre-adolescent and adolescent consciousness. It's a GORGEOUS dress that the ghost in her psyche demands that it wears before falling into ash. Here, in these immolatable, scriptive dialogues with all of her consanguineous, anecdotal, exegetical selves ('who become shoes without feet that walk back and forth' in a house that eats like hungry ghosts), her psyche is cut, recut, uncut, though not forgotten, un-linearly and nonchalantly and numerously, by her relationship to film and her relationship with her Vietnamese mother, surrogated mother in grandmother(s) and auntie(s). Through the art of disfigurement/defacement, her intimate rapport to pain and her sacral joint, and her friendship with abandonment, she is able to elevate her daughterly North Star duties to subliminal heights. As Kim-Anh Schreiber seeks closure with the uncloseable, we see an acutely talented scholar and inventive memoirist on her way to becoming more than Sandra Bullock's neighbor."--Vi Khi Nao "'Every seam I encountered in the fabric of my reality was like a disfigurement that someone had smoothed over and left silent, ' writes Kim-Anh Schreiber in this remarkable investigation of female anger and resilience, intergenerational trauma, and what might be called the development of literacy in the subject of pain. Schreiber, the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee and a German immigrant, combines recognizable modes--memoir, criticism, dramatic play script--into something as uncategorizable as the film she deploys throughout the book as muse and foil: Nobuhiko Obayashi's 1977 post-Hiroshima 'horror-comedy' HOUSE, in which generations of women are trapped together in a haunted house. Beginning with extended considerations of the instability of memory ('an evocative curator'), of the 'impossible problem of drawing a picture, ' and of the pull to use projection and doubling as bridges across gaps in experience and understanding, FANTASY finally resolves into a flickering, unstable but vivid portrait of a mother and daughter both separated and bonded by history, violence, human fallibility, and love."--Anna Moschovakis

40 review for Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lev

    KAS refracts her own experiences with her Vietnamese mother and grandmother through images from the Japanese horror-overload HOUSE, the Kardashian mythology, a play about flowers, her dreamlife, and scenes from the likes of Pretty Little Liars and Scream Queens. Where in another novel, this load of references might become heavy, here the clarity and sincerity of the text lends it all a vivid buoyancy. Like a prism, each moment in Fantasy explodes onto the others, recasting them in new lights and KAS refracts her own experiences with her Vietnamese mother and grandmother through images from the Japanese horror-overload HOUSE, the Kardashian mythology, a play about flowers, her dreamlife, and scenes from the likes of Pretty Little Liars and Scream Queens. Where in another novel, this load of references might become heavy, here the clarity and sincerity of the text lends it all a vivid buoyancy. Like a prism, each moment in Fantasy explodes onto the others, recasting them in new lights and colors.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maria Rios-Mathioudakis

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I folded back the ears of certain pages so I could easily find my favorite passages. I took the book with me on a hike ... read it in the sun in a rose garden. It’s the kind of book that feels like its reading you when you’re reading it. Schreiber weaves together a story about mothers by pulling from her own experiences, her fantasies, from pop culture, and from cinema. It’s been a pleasure to have this book haunt me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alice Stephens

    Schreiber interleaves her personal history with a critical study of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s cult horror film “House,” which she first watched after a bicycle accident left her in chronic pain. “The biggest privilege of inhabiting a body, I learned, was to not even notice it was being inhabited.” Schreiber spent the next three years researching the movie, watching other Obayashi films, studying modern Japanese culture, and investigating works with adjacent themes. In dissecting each scene, character, Schreiber interleaves her personal history with a critical study of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s cult horror film “House,” which she first watched after a bicycle accident left her in chronic pain. “The biggest privilege of inhabiting a body, I learned, was to not even notice it was being inhabited.” Schreiber spent the next three years researching the movie, watching other Obayashi films, studying modern Japanese culture, and investigating works with adjacent themes. In dissecting each scene, character, and motif, she skillfully connects the film to her own story. The book’s title refers to one of the seven main teenaged characters in the movie, each of whom, like the seven dwarves, is named for her defining trait. Fantasy is not the central character (in a horror film, that would be the one who survives the longest), but she is the only one who senses something is terribly wrong with the house where they are spending the summer and its spinster owner, who becomes stronger and more vivacious as Fantasy’s friends die one by one. The two narratives begin to blend as the author stitches short passages on Fantasy’s increasing alarm over the bizarre things happening in the house into significant episodes from her own past, particularly the death of her Vietnamese grandmother — a turning point in Schreiber’s relationship with her mother, who fails to appear at the deathbed... ...Fantasy is not the kind of Oprah-endorsed memoir that spoon-feeds the reader uplifting life lessons, but rather an inventive, uncompromising, and poignant examination of transgenerational trauma, the primordial bond between mother and child, and the damage wrought when that bond is broken. To read the entire review, go to http://www.washingtonindependentrevie...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paola Capo-Garcia

    Unlike anything I've ever read before. Every single page is a living, breathing thing. Schreiber's writing is complex yet accessible, bizarre but comforting, dissociative yet confrontational. This book goes from history to faulty memory to family to absence to self to performance and back. I love this book and everything it makes me feel. Unlike anything I've ever read before. Every single page is a living, breathing thing. Schreiber's writing is complex yet accessible, bizarre but comforting, dissociative yet confrontational. This book goes from history to faulty memory to family to absence to self to performance and back. I love this book and everything it makes me feel.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Mandalay

    It's a beautiful book. A sad book. A funny book. A strange book. A book about mothers: motherhood, motherland, mother tongue, and the daughters they possess. A book that asks, how can one build a home as we migrate towards estrangement? It's a beautiful book. A sad book. A funny book. A strange book. A book about mothers: motherhood, motherland, mother tongue, and the daughters they possess. A book that asks, how can one build a home as we migrate towards estrangement?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melinda Lewis

    This is full of shards.

  7. 5 out of 5

    gracie

    “am i really so porous that someone could just bleed into me?”

  8. 4 out of 5

    mimosa maoist

    Fascinating; a trauma theory art novel, with an experimental form like Theresa Cha, but up-to-date with a pop art / blue humor sensibility.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Kim

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angella d'Avignon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maya

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  15. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Alan-Lee

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tanja

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rose Linke

  19. 5 out of 5

    Antonia Lorenzo

  20. 5 out of 5

    G.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leang Ngov

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily Jane

  23. 5 out of 5

    A.K. Weiss

  24. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Hull

  26. 4 out of 5

    Beth Gilson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sof Sears

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Jensen

  31. 5 out of 5

    Tiia

  32. 5 out of 5

    Katiis

  33. 4 out of 5

    Dat

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cat

  35. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  36. 4 out of 5

    J'lyn

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  38. 5 out of 5

    Verity

  39. 4 out of 5

    Cap

  40. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

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