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The Tao of Mrs. Wei


Mrs. Wei is memorable. Once you come in under her umbrella, she is with you for life. Whether, in her ancient wisdom, it is Osama bin Laden Mrs. Wei takes on--"A thief has entered the house"--or the way she honors her dead--"a feast of roast chicken,/ moo shu pork, noodles"--she is acerbic and wise. In these tightly bound, aphoristic and immensely ironic poems, we walk in Mrs. Wei's world, grateful for her sanity and humor.

Myra Sklarew, author of The Witness Trees: Lithuania and Over the Rooftops of Time: Jewish Stories, Essays, Poems

I have enjoyed Mrs. Wei for several years, relishing her elegant directness, even on those rare occasions when it occurs to me that her strong opinions may not be mine. Most of the time, though, it is clear that Mrs. Wei knows what's good for me. This collection radiates wit, charm, and èlan.

Henry Taylor, author of Brief Candles and The Horse Show at Midnight

Mrs. Wei is the ultimate "Chinese Mother" and Hilary Tham's poetic guilty pleasure. She's been writing poems in this prickly-wise persona for years but they have been scattered throughout her many collections. Now, for the first time, she's gathered these crowd-pleasing poems together in one place and added some new ones to the mix so they may stand as a testament to the politically incorrect sage in all of us. Part honey, part vinegar, Mrs. Wei is a literary creation with a definite handle on life. She's so real that Tham seems to be simply transcribing Mrs. Wei verbatim. Ever get caught making out? Throwing a ball in the house? Then you know the voice. Mrs. Wei as parental unit will make you shiver until you realize those days are long ago in the past, allowing a calm liberating laughter to finally set you free. Start packing, your emotional baggage will love the journey.

--Richard Peabody, ed. Gargoyle Magazine



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