A Week with Beijing, the fourth collection from Meg Eden, chronicles the trip of two women, one a foreigner and the other a personification of Beijing, China. Together the women experience day-to-day life in one of the largest, most populated cities, in the world.
The collection walks a line between the personal, unique, experience everyone has while traveling and universal issues of culture, assimilation and individuality. No poem better exemplifies this duality than “Beijing Burns CDs.” The speaker of the poem observes (which is much of her function throughout the collection) a woman- “Beijing”- selling burned CDs, and she says “Maybe I expect her to grab me/the way the market women took me/like a wishbone, fighting for the larger/piece. Maybe I expect a price.” Beijing heartbreakingly responds “If I have/a daughter, I will have to kill her.”
You can read my full review here, at The Next Best Book Club. You can also help support indie authors and publishers by buying a copy of the book. I know there are plenty of people out there who will appreciate you for it.