That Woman Could Be You
That Woman Could Be You is an orphic documentary of the circadian, an archive of queer and quotidian rituals, an observant meditation on the ephemerality and defiance of chronic pain, desire, and grief as they manifest in daily acts. This intrinsically sapphic & feminist project does not chronicle an excursion so much as the stillness of interiority: Alexander fluctuates between belief and disbelief at the news of her brother’s death and Nao manages the fatigue and breathlessness of heart surgery. Meanwhile the Interstates carry them from Louisiana to Texas to Colorado; to work and away from it. That Woman Could Be You lends a euphoric, nostalgic, and dreamlike beauty to the everydayness of diurnal tasks. It is about moving through the world together, as women, in Nao’s case a Vietnamese woman, and the newness of their love and life together.
"Like Anne Charlotte Robertson’s Five Year Diary seen through a fervid haze, its Super 8 frames fractaling in and out of memory’s forlorn theatrics, the pieces in this book invite the reader on a jaunt of vanishingly small, gigantic, public, and intimate dimensions. Accept the invitation. Reel with all the ways That Woman Could be You. "
–– ALI RAZ, author of Alien
"The book, visually, looks stunning –– reminds me of The Fear of Losing Eurydice by Julieta Campos ––and the poems are so mundanely mystical that there’s no difference between the physical and the spiritual, the ‘me’ and the ‘you’. "
–– MARC ANTHONY RICHARDSON, American Book Award winner, and author of Year of the Rat and Messiahs
"If a love story has a beginning, middle, and end, then this is a book of the middle, of the hundred middles –– of the rice, lemons, sweatpants , workdays, rented rooms –– that deep connection is made of. Danger, death, and chronic pain wait in the dark, so “we [walk] home like two lamp posts.” Familiar and strange, this wonderfully intimate, genre-bending book is a gift of trust to the reader. It’s like finding a witty, lyrical letter handwritten on the back pages of a library book you never want to return. "
–– BRAD AARON MODLIN, author of Everyone at this Party Has Two Names
"Reading That Woman Could Be You is an overwhelming immersion in an intimate world of knowing and unknowing. The stunning work is steeped in love and grief and, most of all, in the persistent genius needed to expose them. "
–– IAN BEAMISH, Dr. James Wilson/BORSF Eminent Scholar Endowed Professor in Southern Studies University of Louisiana at Lafayette
"What does it mean to be a woman, that Other? This book cannot tell you any more than your mother—remembered, fictitious—can. But what if every person you ever loved was Jessica Alexander who was Vi Khi Nao who was a singular writer with two heads and one heart and a thousand brains? But every person you ever loved was a verb. Grieve, thrust, probe, sear—for example. Not your mother, not remembered or fictitious, but language, in all its glory and precision and ambiguity. That is this book. And if you let it, this book will crack you open, replace your insides with ferns, shrimps, televisions: or tiny bits of the souls of two singular writers. "
–– JACLYN WATTERSON, author of Ventriloquisms
"An unconventional masterpiece from two of the most transcendent writers working in America today. I dare you to read this collaboration and not be inspired in your own life and art."
–– MICHAEL SHOU-YUNG SHUM, author of Queen of Spades