Shirley Lim: What the Fortune Teller Didn't Say

(740 words)

Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s poetry collection What the Fortune Teller Didn’t Say, like her memoir Among the White Moonfaces published two years earlier, testifies to the uneasy position of an immigrant subject within American culture. I have argued elsewhere that her poetry engages with various cultures (Tay 305), and the present volume continues this project of transcultural mediation.

The collection is divided into three sections. The section entitled “What the Fortune Teller Didn’t Say” presents a Malaysian and Singaporean landscape associated with paternal and maternal figures. In these poems, the drama of Asian patriarchy is being played out. In “Hands”, the persona is …

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Tay, Eddie. "What the Fortune Teller Didn't Say". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 September 2008
[, accessed 31 May 2015.]