Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: We Bury the Landscape by Kristine Ong Muslim

We Bury the Landscape
By: Kristine Ong Muslim
Pub. Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Queens Ferry Press
Pages: 168
Source: ebook from author
We Bury the Landscape is an exhibition of literary art. Ekphrasis, collected. One hundred flash fictions and prose poems presented to view. From the visual to the textual, transmuting before the gallery-goer’s gaze, the shifting contours of curator Kristine Ong Muslim’s surreal panorama delineate the unconventional, the unexpected, and the unnatural. Traversing this visionary vista’s panoply of “rooms of unfinished lives,” the reader unearths and examines and reanimates—revealing the transcendent uncanniness that subsists underfoot.
Usually, I would never choose to review a book like this. For one, I'm not big on short stories, or a collection of stories, which is essentially what this book is. Secondly, I have never really been interested in art. I've gone to museums and I think the paintings look pretty, but I have never understood them the same way others do. So I surprised myself when I agreed to review this book, it looked interesting and original. I am happy that I went out of my comfort zone with this one because I really enjoyed it!

We Bury the Landscape is a very interesting way to look at different pieces of artwork. Kristine Ong Muslim creates her own stories and poems in response to each artwork featured in the book. She gives the painting a history as well as makes the piece come to life.

The main problem that I had with this book was I wish that the stories were accompanied with the artwork that the stories are about. I think it would have made the stories even better if I was able to just turn the page and see the artwork. There were a few that I did look up, and it enhanced the story so much!

I thought We Bury the Landscape was beautifully written. It was so imaginative, and I thought Muslim did a wonderful job with bringing these artworks to life.  I think this book would be especially enjoyable for people who really can understand the hidden meanings of art. But if your ignorant like me, I think you can enjoy this creative book as well.  


  1. It does sound interesting. I wonder if having the art by the poems/stories would have been too costly because of reproduction rights.....

    1. @Kate:
      Hello, Kate. You're right. The logistics of getting the permissions alone is already a monumental task. When I was writing the book, I daydreamed about having the thumbnail pics of the art appearing alongside the little stories. :D

      Thank you so much for reviewing my book. It's a wonderful and well-thought review.

  2. Wow, great review! It's good to occasionally step out of your comfort zone and read something different, I admire you for that! :D

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian


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