Leslie Jamison told the Times Literary Supplement: "A few years ago, at a workshop in Lisbon, I read an essay I’ll never forget: a woman writing about her work founding a theatre company with a group of Congolese women in Nairobi. It was smart and self-aware, liberated from the gooey undertones of any sentimental saviour-complex, but also unapologetically committed to the possibilities of art as a means of interacting with trauma. I was so delighted to find out that this essay has just been published as part of a collection, Ming Holden’s Refuge (Kore Press), with pieces about exiled writers, nude modelling, old typewriters and border-crossing of all kinds. I can’t wait to read it."
Kirkus has reviewed REFUGE! "Holden’s inspired prose forms a kaleidoscope of emotion, oscillating from the elegiac to the gorgeous to the humorous and self-deprecating...Overall, the collection is poetic and entrancing, and the author’s experiences are deep and affecting. Though her travels may not personally affect every reader, her sensorial imagery of them will be contemplated with artful appreciation."
The Literary Review’s new issue features a generous, thoughtful essay about REFUGE by Kristina Marie Darling: “Holden fearlessly and honestly confronts the ethical problems inherent in speaking for the other…[and] raises what are essentially profound questions: Does the task of documentary poetics, and the shared histories that it often creates, empower, or does it take away agency? When does a shared history or collective utterance become an act of violence or appropriation? As Holden considers these complex ethical problems, her innovative approach to prose writing fully does justice to the complexity of her thinking.”
World Literature Today has featured REFUGE: "Refuge is the remarkable memoir of a young woman who has put herself in harm’s way time and again to lend much-needed aid to refugees in Africa, Syria, and Asia. Holden exhibits a laudable self-awareness of how her privilege as a white westerner gives her access to resources that might otherwise be unavailable to those she serves and delivers her message of universal humanism with style and grace."
Foreword Reviews has reviewed REFUGE: "Within each focus, Holden doesn’t shy away from the truth. Her interest in revelation spares no one...her persistent concern with the presence of loss, the lives of ordinary people, and place as a necessary anchor in the world creates a sympathy between the author and her subjects, amplifying the sense of violence and sanctuary that human beings can find in each other."
Lunch Ticket has reviewed REFUGE: "Refuge lacks a traditional structure and it works...It’s a careful balancing act: writing about pain but making sure not to reduce suffering to shock value. It’s an act which Holden performs well...Holden strips away the shock value news sound-bites that surround us every day and reminds us that these voices belong to people."