The Magical Language of Others is a fearless and poetic mind grappling with forgiveness, reconciliation, legacy, and intergenerational trauma–conjuring an epic saga and love story between mothers and daughters spanning four generations.

“Stunning.” —Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

“Koh intricately melds her personal story with a broader view of Korean history. This memoir will pierce you.” —Crystal Hana Kim, If You Leave Me

“A beautifully crafted saga…graceful and moving.”  —Nicole Chung, All You Can Ever Know

“E. J. Koh remarkably and beautifully translates the language of mothers as the language of survivors.” —Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony

“A moving portrait of abandonment, forgiveness, and the strength of maternal love.” —TIME

“Koh’s book is a tremendous gift. We’re so fortunate to have this literary reckoning from a tremendously talented writer. The Magical Language of Others is a wonder.”  —The San Francisco Chronicle

“A haunting, gorgeous narrative…lushly told. Brilliant.” —The Star Tribune

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In A Lesser Love readers find poems composed of “Ingredients for Memories that Can Be Used as Explosives” and those composed of chemistry equations that convert light into “reasonable dioxide” then further transmogrify into a complex parent-child relationship.

“Love, war and recovered testimony from Korea’s unhealed border inform the formal and imaginative boundaries within Koh’s panoptic poems. Koh imagines the details of her CIA file, revises the Pledge of Allegiance, and translates Beyoncé.”  —D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, Or A Guide for Boys

“Koh, whose distinctive voice can startle as it soothes, whose invention is a book that delights, disrupts, razes, edifies, and refuses ever to be just one thing. A Lesser Love is first-rate, intelligent, and pure gold—a triumph.” —Timothy Donnelly, The Problem of the Many

“Born from the pain of immigration, the pain of immigrant parents—their relentless labor for survival, their neglected children. Koh is an inheritor of Korea’s violent history, her language is crevassed with historical anger, loss, and violence.” —Don Mee Choi, DMZ Colony

“Unshirking, Koh’s verse is spare, evocative, and gut-moving, drawing out into interludes of clever reflections on cultural place.”  —World Literature Today

“Every new poem begins with a cooing excitement, a chance to make things right. Every birth is an opportunity to take revenge… Koh reminds us the choice is ours to make, every single time.” —Seattle Review of Books

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