Peeling Rambutan is the third poetry collection from Montreal-based poet Gillian Sze. Following Sze’s previous collections, Fish Bones (2009) and The Anatomy of Clay (2011), the beautifully-bound Peeling Rambutan “meditates upon the rifts between immigrant parents and their Canadian-born children and the struggle of overlapping values which sometimes arises when we view the complexity of our heritage through the lens of the present.”
With topics and struggles familiar to many first-generation Canadians, Sze uses her own experiences growing up in Winnipeg “with impressions of the distant villages of her parents’ origins” in Asia.
Navigating the distances and experiences between cultures, Sze brings readers along for a trip through complex emotions, traditions, and identities. Each poem is another step on that journey.
Comfortably existing in a place that is not quite in between but instead a beautiful clash and blend, Peeling Rambutan successfully explores experiences incredibly familiar to those living in a similar space in the generations, as well as introduces those unfamiliar to such an upbringing to memories both genuinely touching and intellectually intriguing.
Along with her two previous collections, Gillian Sze’s work has also appeared in national and international journals, and has received awards such as the University of Winnipeg Writers’ Circle Prize and the 2011 3Macs carte blanche Prize.