The Book 

The Elegiac is a collection of essays that sets out to excavate beauty and healing from our most challenging experiences. The essays are tied together with this single theme of redemption from pain, loss, and controversial love. The reader joins the Ella Mei Yon in rediscovering childhood to understand adulthood, claiming family history to understand one’s future, and finding courage in the darkest places. 

The book explores the author's personal experiences woven with her family allegory. From her near death giving birth to twins and caring for her father as he died, to her haunting witness of the September 11th attacks and her fickle love they destroyed. From her grandfather's journey from China to Nicaragua in the early 1900s to her mother making that same trip in the 1960s, to meet her father for the first time, only to face a family tragedy.

With humanity, grace, and incredible scope, Ella Mei Yon’s The Elegiac walks fearlessly into the most painful areas of human existence in search of meaning. Using her life as an entry point, she is an incisive observer of each moment, drawing connections across time and distance, the present moment and all of history, in trauma and in quietude, querying what keeps us apart even as we are right beside each other. A deeply empathic writer, she is just as much a warrior of the human heart, a survivor. A necessary voice.
— Sarah Gerard, author of Sunshine State
In The Elegiac, Ella Mei Yon’s profound empathy and close observations elevate the mundane and ground the sublime. She has a voice like no other, as lyrical
and rhythmic as it is clear and cutting.
— Nicole Haroutunian, author of Speed Dreaming