In A Brief History of Fruit, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews’s full-length debut, we are shuttled between the United States and the Philippines in the search for a sense of geographical and racial belonging. Driven by a restless need to interrogate the familial, environmental, and political forces that shape the self, these poems are both sensual and cerebral: full of “the beautiful science,” as she puts it, of “naming: trees of one thing, then another, then yet another.” Colonization, class dynamics, an abiding loneliness, and a place’s titular fruit—tiny Filipino limes, the frozen berries of rural America—all serve as focal markers in a book that insists that we hold life’s whole fragrant pollination in our hands and look directly at it, bruises and all.
About the Author
Kimberly Quiogue Andrews is a poet and literary critic. She is also the author of BETWEEN, winner of the New Women’s Voices Prize from Finishing Line Press. She lives in Maryland and is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Washington College.
Praise for A Brief History of Fruit
This superb collection offers up history—personal, familial, postcolonial, geopolitical, ecological—and indeed the history of fruit, fruit as sustenance, pleasure, exploitable product, as image, parent, love, and wound. There is no eating fruit without decimating its wholeness, and it is this split, especially in regard to the speaker’s bifurcated racial and cultural identity, that generates the book’s intricate architecture and vitality. These are hard-won poems, fought for, lived through.
—Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
As devotional hymn and origin myth, A Brief History of Fruit braves our “language // of fracture” to illuminate the blossoms and bruises of family, the sweetbitterness of memory and identity. This phenomenal first book grows from a revolutionary, revelatory imagination—and Kimberly Quiogue Andrews dreams and grieves with “polycrystalline” vision: her poetry invites us to draw truth from the exacting beauty of those we love, and challenges us to face the sins and illusions of the monsters we inherit. Solmaz Sharif once remarked that “I don’t look to poems to heal, but to make the wound alive again and again and again”; to experience Andrews’ searching work is to bear witness to that commitment, that ferocious hope, that awe.
—R. A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria