This interview focuses on Zhang’s book Dear Jenny We Are All Find. Andy Fitch: From this project’s first line onward, we find prose formatting, often a prose pace, but also careful lineation accenting rhyme and sound play. Some sections contain blank spaces or slashes instead of punctuation.Read more.
The Selected Jenny Zhang
In the Emily Books original publication The Selected Jenny Zhang, we’re delighted to be offering the first collection of Jenny Zhang’s work in ebook format, including some work no longer available in print. This collection features the chapbooks previously published as Dear Jenny, We Are All Find and HAGS as well as the essay “How It Feels.”
When asked how she fell for Jenny Zhang’s work, Ruth said, “Because she’s not afraid to be gross. You get the feeling that she loves being gross. She puts the grossness in service of something powerful.”
That grossness, and that power, provides the essential heartbeat of all Zhang’s work, both prose and poetry. In her work, she describes everything from sloppy sex and menstruation to a depression so intense she shat herself rather than get out of bed.
This visceral bodily descriptiveness is never deployed simply for shock value, though: by articulating the taboo, Zhang has carved space within literature for the brutal honesty of postmodern girlhood. In many instances, she does this by calling out her readers’ preconceived notions of who she is and what she is writing about.