by E. J. Koh
“The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir” is a powerfully poignant collection of letters that is woven into a beautiful tale of love. This book is written by E. J. Koh. Koh is a great writer and her poems, translations, and stories have appeared in Boston Review, Columbia Review, Southeast Review, World Literature Today, TriQuarterly, Narrative, The Margins, PEN America, and elsewhere. This book is a powerfully poignant collection of letters that is woven into a beautiful tale of love.
Though her mother uses loving language in her letters, EJ Koh remains true to her own voice and shows us her perspective and the painful side of growing up without the everyday support and physical presence of her parents. It will undoubtedly touch common elements in each reader’s experience, while at the same time providing a poignant context of one woman’s (and one family’s) history, experience, love and compassion. It is poetry that helps E. J. Koh to reorient herself.