Picture of author.

Quan Barry

Autor(a) de We Ride Upon Sticks

8+ Works 981 Membros 56 Reviews

About the Author

Quan Barry teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Includes the name: Barry Quan

Image credit: dvan.org

Obras de Quan Barry

We Ride Upon Sticks (2020) 644 cópias, 37 resenhas
She Weeps Each Time You're Born (2014) 132 cópias, 7 resenhas
When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East (2022) 113 cópias, 8 resenhas
Asylum: Poetry (2001) 36 cópias, 1 resenha
Controvertibles (Pitt Poetry Series) (2004) 22 cópias, 1 resenha
Water Puppets (Pitt Poetry Series) (2011) 20 cópias, 1 resenha
Loose Strife: Poetry (2015) 9 cópias, 1 resenha

Associated Works

The Art of Losing (2010) — Contribuinte — 206 cópias, 21 resenhas
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contribuinte — 179 cópias, 4 resenhas


Conhecimento Comum



I have a history of disappointment with comic novels, in that I never much like them or find them all that comic, but I enjoyed this book immensely. It is truly funny! Or it matches up with my sense of humor better than those other novels. Maybe it also helps having been a teenager in 1989/1990, myself. Whatever. The writing is smart and witty and for such a large cast of characters, each one comes through as an individual remarkably well. Jen Fiorenza’s Claw and Mel Boucher’s Splotch are also characters who in Their own right will live long in my memory.

Nominally about a high school varsity field hockey team’s turnaround from chumps to champs, with a side of teenage dabbling in witchcraft and the Salem witch trials, it is really about a group of teenage girls coming into their own in the late eighties. Each girl (and one teenage boy) has her own unique family dynamics and expectations cocooning her, and if writing her name in a book of darkness (fronted by Emilio Estevez) and occasionally dancing naked in the woods together helps her to find and live her true self, what’s the harm. It all makes for a touching, humane, and very comic novel.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | outras 36 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
This book gives the Western reader a couple of rare things: a novel set in Mongolia and Buddhist monk characters who struggle with doubts and self-belief. Twins Chuluun and Mun, sent to join a monastery as children, have taken divergent paths as young adults. Chuluun is part of a mission to find the reincarnation of a lama in Tibetan Buddhism, which is also practiced in Mongolia. Mun has renounced his identity as a reincarnated leader himself and abandoned Buddhist teachings but is willing to assist his twin on this mission. From these two seemingly opposite poles the brothers move along the spectrum of belief and disbelief in a believable way through the story.

I've never seen the topic of identifying child reincarnations in Tibetan Buddhism treated in such a fully realized way; in Western reporting, where Tibetan Buddhism obviously has a pretty lofty spiritual reputation, it doesn't seem to get looked at from the perspective of the child himself (always a "he", though suggested here that evolution on gender roles could one day change that), asking what it means to be taken from a normal life into not just a monastic life but a complete identity - "you are this person, who did this and this and this in previous lives" - that the child doesn't get to choose for himself. In the West we're familiar with the idea of someone's childhood being taken from them due to things like super-competitive athletics (gymnasts, etc.) or bad family situations; here we see it as part of being identified as a reincarnated religious figure.
I enter my brother's chambers and find him sitting in his altar room among his booty. I'm not allowed to keep it, he says. All week gifts pour in. Stuffed animals, sports equipment, electronics, candy. It is all to be whisked away tomorrow and donated to the local school, places where children are allowed to be children.

And so my brother and I spend the night playing with objects we don't even know exist until now. One is a remote-control truck that has a siren on top that flashes red and blue lights, washing the walls with color. Tomorrow my brother is to don the gold brocade lama hat like a horse's mane. He is to be carried on an open-air litter through the crowds, the sangha of the whole country and beyond gathered... But tonight we are two little boys playing among a pile of treasures the world mysteriously brings into our lives.

A great deal of research as well as some personal experience of Mongolia went into the writing, and the story shows it off as it travels from the vast interior grasslands to the northern ice to the western mountains to the southern desert, working in a non-Western perspective that portrays Genghis (Chinggis) Khan's distant rule in a far more benevolent light while condemning the more recent rule of Mongolia's communist puppet state that destroyed the monasteries and murdered their monks, part of the 5-10% of the population that died in the communist purges. It shows the current day rebirth of Mongolian Buddhism, its intertwined connection to Tibet, and the beliefs and practices of its adherents. Sometimes the information transmission gets in the way a bit of the storytelling, but it's such interesting stuff that I hardly minded.

In sum, a unique and memorable novel, from a skilled poet/novelist/playwright who has shown off quite an impressive literary range in her career thus far.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | outras 7 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
Strange but fun book.

I graduated high school in 1988 and this takes place in 1989 so all of the cultural references speak directly to me in a super funny way. I’m not sure that would be true for people who aren’t my same age.

Magic, friendship, coming of age.

hmonkeyreads | outras 36 resenhas | Jan 25, 2024 |
Funny, deep, dense, and a powerful time travel to 1989.
mslibrarynerd | outras 36 resenhas | Jan 13, 2024 |



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Betty Lew Map illustration
Joan Wong Cover designer
Biho Takahashi Cover artist


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