Amnion | Granta

  • Published: 04/11/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783787746
  • 132x20mm
  • 128 pages


Stephanie Sy-Quia

Amnion is a contemporary lyric epic, journeying from the Philippines to Libya, through France, Spain, and the UK. This debut collection of poems questions keenly and urgently the roots of migration and colonialism, charting what it means to grow up in a family divided by geography, history and language.

Managing the consequences of empire, familial discord, personal mythologies and contemporary issues of class and race, these narratives of history, both personal and public, are disseminated through Stephanie’s patient and ever-expanding rhetoric. Lyrically charged, this book-length poem weaves memoir, essay and poetics with the eye of an archivist. Throughout, the lyric ‘I’ is questioned through the very fragments that come to represent it.

Amnion feeds into the history of Homeric, epic verse with ambitious scope, grace and erudition, promising to be one of the most significant texts on contemporary personhood.


The first 20 copies of Amnion ordered through will come with a handmade lino print by Stephanie Sy-Quia.



Amnion is unlike almost anything I've read - so alive it seems to squirm to the touch. Couched as biography - with numerous family stories unspooling through time - it resists neat threads, continually unravelling and questioning itself [...] Here a non-white female artist comes of age, taking the European tradition and reshaping it to fit a polyglot, postcolonial experience.

Will Harris, author of RENDANG

A brilliant and beautiful book which wrestles with the scope and ache of lineage, the origin and myth and making of ourselves.

Rachel Long, author of My Darling from the Lions

Sy-Quia's bold Künstlerroman mesmerisingly transports us across continents and through the longing of diasporas, arriving in England, a "deep bone-knowing country/Albion

Sandeep Parmar, Books of the Year, New Statesman

The Author

Stephanie Sy-Quia was born in 1995 in California and now lives in London. She studied English at Oxford and currently works as a freelance journalist. Her writing has appeared in the FT Weekend, the TLS, the Economist, the Spectator and TANK magazine, and has twice been shortlisted for the FT Bodley Head Essay prize.

More about the author →

Stephanie Sy-Quia on

Fiction | The Online Edition

Best Book of 1992: The English Patient

Stephanie Sy-Quia

‘I had been in England, a semi-foreign country, for a few months, and when I was asked where I was from, I had no easy answer.’

Poetry | The Online Edition


Stephanie Sy-Quia

‘In the place where I grew up there were horses, thighs moving like nudity under their fur’