Forthcoming The Doctor Will Fix It by Bunkong Tuon
Bunkong Tuon is a Cambodian-American writer, critic, and teacher. He is the author of three poetry collections: Gruel, And So I Was Blessed, and The Doctor Will Fix It. His poetry recently won the 2019 Nasiona Nonfiction Poetry Prize. He teaches at Union College, in Schenectady, NY.
The Doctor Will Fix It revolves around the following question: what does it mean to raise a child, particularly a biracial girl, in this time of political and cultural upheavals, where sexual harassment allegations abound, where a wall, literal and figurative, threatens to keep out immigrants and refugees. In addition to addressing issues that face any parents, such as exhaustion, lack of sleep, balancing professional and child-caring responsibilities, the book explores racial, cultural, and gender violence, and questions gender stereotypes and cultural expectations.
"Bunkong Tuon is saying something new and important in The Doctor Will Fix It. Exploring uncharted territory: How to raise his dazzling, bi-racial daughter to her fullest potential in today’s America. The infatuated father, himself an outsider, searches for answers in these astonishing and tender poems which ponder gender and racial identity, and create a roadmap of what it means to love. This book is honest, frustrated, tender, and human." - Alexis Rhone Fancher, author of Junkie Wife, poetry editor, Cultural Weekly
"The Doctor Will Fix It continues the poet’s primary theme: the importance of family. Tuon’s previous collection, the heart-rending Gruel deals with the refugee experience, of literally being carried out of Cambodia on his grandmother’s back and of his new life in America. And So I Was Blessed follows his new life as a husband, father, and teacher with a revealing journey to Vietnam where he learns about his late father’s roots. Now with The Doctor Will Fix It, Tuon explores the vagaries of parenting, the misgivings and joys, the problems of biracialism and small-minded prejudice and how we deal with these realities. Ultimately, the poet’s sense is that with love and hope, a better world that has such children as his will prevail. Even impossible dreams may come true." -Alan Catlin, poet, editor Misfit Magazine