The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On
Named A Most Anticipated Book by: LitHub * Vulture * Time * A PW 2022 Holiday Gift Pick
One of: Time's "100 Must-Read Books of 2022" * NPR's 2022 "Books We Love" Vulture's "10 Best Books of 2022"
A Goodreads Readers Choice Award Semifinalist
From acclaimed poet Franny Choi comes a poetry collection for the ends of worlds—past, present, and future. Choi’s third book features poems about historical and impending apocalypses, alongside musings on our responsibilities to each other and visions for our collective survival.
Many have called our time dystopian. But The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On reminds us that apocalypse has already come in myriad ways for marginalized peoples.
With lyric and tonal dexterity, these poems spin backwards and forwards in time--from Korean comfort women during World War II, to the precipice of climate crisis, to children wandering a museum in the future. These poems explore narrative distances and queer linearity, investigating on microscopic scales before soaring towards the universal. As she wrestles with the daily griefs and distances of this apocalyptic world, Choi also imagines what togetherness--between Black and Asian and other marginalized communities, between living organisms, between children of calamity and conquest--could look like. Bringing together Choi's signature speculative imagination with even greater musicality than her previous work, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On ultimately charts new paths toward hope in the aftermaths, and visions for our collective survival.
Praise for The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On
Named A Most Anticipated Book by: LitHub * Vulture * Time * Lambda Literary One of Time's "100 Must-Read Books of 2022" * One of NPR's 2022 "Books We Love" * One of The Boston Globe's "Best Books of 2022" * A PW 2022 Holiday Gift Pick A Goodreads Readers Choice Award Semifinalist An Atlantic "Best Poetry Collections to Read Again and Again" —
"Franny Choi’s poems are both of the world and transport us to another. I’ve taught her writing in multiple contexts for years. I’m thrilled to now have this new collection of her poems to savor and to share. The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On is a luminous, jarring, and gorgeous gift. Grateful to have these poems as a compass in these times" — Mariame Kaba, author of the NYT bestseller We Do This Til We Free Us
"In their arresting poetry collection, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On, Choi considers the many ways in which the unthinkable has already happened for the most marginalized around the world by way of catastrophe, war, and devastation." — Time
“Capturing the painful truths about surviving this world that seems to care very little about the lives of communities of color, [Choi's] poetry inspires us to continuously fight for a different world--one that would be informed by generations of loss, lessons, and collective movements. Her poetry identifies why it is that our hearts and bones have been aching for so long. We have been at war and the world keeps ending. Franny’s collection is an homage to where we have been and how we must continue--injured, determined, beautifully and together.” — Connie Wun, PhD, co-founder of AAPI Women Lead
"Franny Choi’s latest collection of poetry...neutralizes the feeling of apocalyptic panic by showing that xenophobia and brutality within an unequal society are, indeed, nothing new. Compounding the weariness of the past several years with that of the ages flies rather close to despair, but World eludes cynicism to cast generational trauma as a paean to survival." — Vulture
“It was Franny Choi who first taught me the truism that every utopia requires an attendant dystopia, and here she catalogues them both with aplomb. Choi charts a path through the gloom and ecstasy of everyday catastrophe, always more mundane than we expected. It’s dull and violent and lined with ancestral memory and mushrooms ready to forage. Anyone who has lived through the daily absurdity of disaster— which is to say, all of us— can find a home here.” — Eve L. Ewing, author of 1919 and Electric Arches
“Virtuosic visionary Franny Choi beholds brutal reality and, with uncanny and singular genius, transforms it into revolution. Choi believes community, family, history, eros, truth, and love demand change worth living for/through. This book gives blood, voice, and generations of memory to the slim chance that we can change this world enough to survive its endless dystopia, war, violence. Somehow this poet still believes in us: that we might read this work and, made bold with desire, love the world so deeply it has to love us back.” — Brenda Shaughnessy, author of The Octopus Museumi and Tanya
"Franny Choi’s poems are arresting, sharp; they demand we listen and follow her where she wants to take us." — Literary Hub
“Science Fiction Poetry” isn’t just the title of one poem from Franny Choi’s collection; it’s also a goal the whole volume undertakes. Effusively angry visions of near-future apocalypse and violent collapse make way, first, for Korean historical memory, and then for brighter visions of a rebuilt society. —Stephanie Burt — Boston Globe
"In this new collection, Franny Choi brings her fierce intelligence, ferocious humor, and tonal virtuosity to new ground, imagining and reimagining utopia, dystopia, ongoingness, ending, and the end of ending. First loves, lost mothers, forever wars, 'little nevers' – the temporal vertigo of grief for country and kin, the anguish of failing to protect elders from being attacked – all are voiced in indelible song.... Choi doesn’t flinch from 'what we had to survive/ to make paradise/ from its ruins,' but, with equal bravery, insists on conceiving new communities, new possibilities, new tomorrows.... Her vision is luminous." — Suji Kwock Kim, author of Notes From the Divided Country
"Franny Choi is one of my favorite poets and her new collection does not disappoint. These are incisive, elegant poems. There is a throughline of grief in many of the poem but the work demonstrates both stylistic and intellectual range. So excited for people to get into this book." — Roxane Gay
“Choi has crafted a fight song for the apocalypse. Musical, defiant, queer, pushing — Choi dances with language at the protest to invite us to save each other. You will read this, read it again aloud, and copy down poems to send to your friends.” — Fawzy Taylor, A Room Of One’s Own Bookstore, Madison, WI
"A marked attentiveness to craftsmanship and the niceties of language enlivens the poems in Franny Choi’s urgent, stirring [collection]. A fearless shifter of form, Choi switches moods and modes to tackle such topics as social unrest, climate change and her Korean heritage. Formidable themes like the nature of tragedy and the human capacity for renewal lend a timelessness to her work. Choi’s collection will awaken and inspire readers...her attitude is contagious." — BookPage (starred review)
"Lines like these--poems like these--remind readers of what is possible in poetry. " — Shelf Awareness
"If you are only going to read one book of poetry this year, or assign one book of poetry for your next class, make it this one. Choi leaves nothing on the table, offering a collection that will satisfy students of poetry and casual readers with equal fervor. This is one collection you will want to carry with you for months to come." — The Poetry Question
"A collection that will startle readers." — Library Journal (starred review)
"Choi calls upon apocalypses of the past, present, and future to imagine a picture of what survival through community could look like." — Chicago Review of Books, " 12 Must-Read Books of November"
"In these ecstatic lyrics, Choi explores what it means to survive in an era that teeters on the edge of apocalyptic doom." — Poets & Writers
"The paradox of how we can live in this disastrous world, and handle our own culpability, burns through this collection.” — Poetry