With lyric grace and the luminosity that is a distinct signature of her poetry, Cathy Song has created a rich tapestry of powerful stories and vividly drawn characters that can be read both sequentially as a novel and as a short story collection that takes a searching look at the cycle of human existence. Individually the pieces offer a satisfying narrative arc that yields beautifully crafted portraits of real people, the turning points of their lives, their stories of travel, love, aging, and death played out against the changing social and historical backdrop of Hawaiʻi. Collectively the stories affirm the power of memory to redeem, to bridge lives and bind three generations in a timeless tale of love and its endurance. It is a collection to cherish, as much for its compelling images and characters as for its profound wisdom and insights into what it means to be human, to love, to grow old and lose what you love.
—Boey Kim Cheng, author of the travel memoir BETWEEN STATIONS and five collections of poetry
Cathy Song is the author of five books of poetry, including PICTURE BRIDE, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. A recipient of the Hawai‘i Award for Literature, she spends her time between Honolulu and Volcano on Hawai‘i Island.
—Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate, Poetry Foundation
This powerful and beautiful novel in stories recounts the interconnectedness of the immigrant experience on a global scale. The epic scope of the collection ranges from Hawaiʻi to Oklahoma to California to New York to New Zealand to India, to name just a few of the stops along the ride. And what a ride it is! Beginning with the first generation of the Park family, immigrants to Hawaiʻi during the Korean diaspora, All the Love in the World does not merely retrace the painful and familiar struggle by immigrants everywhere to preserve the connection to their cultural inheritance; the book goes deeper in parsing what is left to us when those bonds are broken or erased by the overwhelming pressures to acculturate by a dominant culture. Who do we become? What is to be done? Cathy Song’s contemplation of these questions is, in the end, filled with light, untinged by easy despair.
—Sylvia Watanabe, author of TALKING TO THE DEAD