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Book Review

Liber Exuvia – Elytron Frass – gnOme books

elytron frass liber exuvia1.jpg

Reading Liber Exuvia by Elytron Frass is to enter the murmuring memoirs of an astral traveller. Is to encounter the self as it is – not as fixed point or outpost in temporal time but self as vaporous, porous and atemporal – self as ghost haunting the flesh, spectre sojourning the house of mist. Self as fracture, fact amassed and massacred, exploding and imploding in all directions, past present future for infinity. Everywhere and everyone and everywhen. Continue reading “Liber Exuvia – Elytron Frass – gnOme books”

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Reading and Grieving: Review of The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan

“We can forecast nothing. It arrives when it arrives. It disappears when it disappears.” (from ‘Take the Weather With You’)

The stories in this collection by Sharanya Manivannan (Harper Collins India, 2016) undulate – this book is a sea of women, each voice honoring the collective memories, hearts, and bodies of women. Earthbound, the voice of each character rises up from the pages like wind – arriving and departing, breath-giving, season-changing. We see them facing their deepest selves. We see them give space to their rawness and their desires. Fierce and utterly unforgettable.

“It’s like someone aimed a rubber band at my heart and didn’t miss. I have waited my whole fucking life for someone to call me kannamma.” (from ‘The High Priestess Never Marries’)

Continue reading “Reading and Grieving: Review of The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan”

“She Begins Again To Live in the Past”: On The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras

I don’t know how to write about Lol Stein. I’ll start there, with an admission of my own limitations, a confession that any review that I write will fail to encompass all that I felt while reading it and all that I feel all these months and years later. Anything I write about it will be mired in my own history and my own memories.

I hate writing reviews because words never touch the experience of reading a book. This review can’t make you feel what I felt, holding the book in my hands, discovering the words on the page, all the moments in which images and scenes have flashed in my mind. But I want to say something about this book. I have so much that I want to say.

Continue reading ““She Begins Again To Live in the Past”: On The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras”

The Best Of A Bad Situation – Jamie Thrasivoulou

The Best Of A Bad Situation – by Jamie Thrasivoulou

– poetry collection published by Silhouette Press

Jamie Thrasivoulou has seen the zeitgeist and, to be honest, he’s disgusted. These poems are translators of tarmac, asphalt whisperers, mediators of a sonic correspondence between broken hearts and broken promises, busted causeways and lost causes, high hopes fallen down and low-roads taken up. One of the greatest sights in contemporary poetry is to witness Jamie Thrasivoulou explode these poems on an unsuspecting audience. Let’s call it the truth, let’s call it word and testimony, let’s call it the salvo and the salve, let’s call it what it is. ‘The Best Of A Bad Situation’ is the most urgent, vital collection of poetry you will read all year. This is gonna hurt you much more than it will Jamie, but it’s a word-surgery that the body and mind require. Don’t thank the man, he doesn’t want nor need it. Just buy this book, read it, imbibe it’s blood-spirit and turn your life over to the justice and insistences of its restorative frequencies.

– Miggy Angel, author of ‘Grime Kerbstone Psalms’

Continue reading “The Best Of A Bad Situation – Jamie Thrasivoulou”

On Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Yearning

I started reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale after the 2016 election. The book felt timely as we, as a people, confronted an uncertain political future. To be honest,  I was gutted by what happened. I was troubled and grief-stricken that a man who boasted about sexually assaulting women, a man who dehumanized every group of people except straight white men, a man who lied every time he opened his mouth, was elected President of the United States. I know many of us are still reeling, maybe we’re even numb.

I decided that I would turn to literature as a way to cope with what happened. Writers give me hope. Writers are always dangerous because they ask us to empathize with The Other and they engage in complex, critical thinking. At least the best writers do. They challenge the status quo. They force us to rethink our assumptions, prejudices, and traditions.

Continue reading “On Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Yearning”

Submissions open – 1st Edition of The Arsonist Magazine

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 1ST EDITION OF THE ARSONIST MAGAZINE NOW OPEN – SEND US YOUR BEST – CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU MADE X

In By Fire, Tahar Ben Jelloun Tells The Story of the Man Who Sparked the Arab Spring

 

Every fire begins with a spark, a small flame that ignites a conflagration. Where does that spark originate? No one could have known that when Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to his body on December 17, 2010 his act of self-immolation would trigger protests in Tunisia and throughout the Arab region. He was the spark that lit up the world.

In By Fire: Writings on the Arab Spring, Tahar Ben Jelloun writes about Bouazizi in two distinct ways. In the first part of the book are selections from Ben Jelloun’s nonfiction writings about the Arab Spring. In the second part of the book is Ben Jelloun’s short story “By Fire,” which enters the mind of Bouazizi and attempts to capture the nuances of his life. Both parts are necessary and complement each other. Translator Rita S. Nezami’s notes and introductions do an excellent job of contextualizing Bouazizi’s act of protest and providing much-needed information for Western readers to understand the political climate in Tunisia before the Arab Spring.

Continue reading “In By Fire, Tahar Ben Jelloun Tells The Story of the Man Who Sparked the Arab Spring”

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