Names for Light is a beautiful book, astonishing and profound. Despite some of its heaviness — war, colonialism, racism, death — there is such openness and grace. Even in displacement — or perhaps through it — Myint creates a rich sense of all the places that help form the story of her family, however imperfectly. Almost like an elegant procession of prose poems, Names for Light is often at its most powerful when exploring these imperfections — the memories that cannot be reconstructed, the words that cannot be translated, the ghosts that cannot be conjured or dispelled. This book is an achievement and a gift.
Names for Light by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, (List Price: 16, Graywolf Press, 9781644450611, August 2021)
Reviewed by Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee