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MAW APPEARS IN THE FOLLOWING FORMS explores matrilineal inheritance and loss in the context of the Filipinx-American diaspora. Its linked vignettes imagine multiple monstrous personas and histories for the narrator’s mother, in language that is formally inventive and lush. The mother appears in forms including three quarreling sisters, a murderous karaoke singer, a cult supplicant, a holy Catholic relic, and more, inhabiting bodies and lives touched by legacies of colonialism, gender-based violence and racism along the imperial circuit connecting the United States and the Philippines. By turns mournful and mischievous, MAW APPEARS IN THE FOLLOWING FORMS experiments with speculative storytelling, queer myth-making, and decolonial horror to ask what it means to inhabit a body and lineage fractured by multiple intersecting histories of violence.
Fiction. Hybrid. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
“MAW APPEARS IN THE FOLLOWING FORMS is a visionary and haunting work that demonstrates the expansive, intimate, and beautifully liminal potential of the chapbook form. Formally innovative and conceptually realized, these stories defy genre, description, and boundaries. They teem with language that is playful and possible and deeply empathetic, playing with collective memory and mythic structures, while also staying attuned to interiority, vulnerability, and disruption. The scope and ambition of this chapbook is astonishing, and its origin stories are points of arrival and departure, reinvention and return, history and speculation, and the bodily divine. The language is beautifully precise and always surprising, reaching, probing. As multifaceted and inventive as matrilineage itself -- in all its horror and beauty -- this chapbook will transform and haunt you with its beauty and brutality. There is an infinity of stunning moments throughout, but one of them remains with me: '...he is afraid even in death that she will not be contained.' Like the mothers in this chapbook, multitudinous and hungry, these stories refuse to be contained.”
—K-Ming Chang, author of Gods of Want and Bestiary
Kiley McLaughlin is a poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Heavy Feather Review, DIAGRAM, and in chapbooks from Patient Presses and horse less press. She has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers' Workshop as well as UC Santa Cruz.