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A God At the Door by Tishani Doshi: Book review

Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins India (25 August 2021)

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 128 pages

Order your copy : Here

This blog is sponsored by Harpercollins India in exchange for an unbiased review.

About the book

An exquisite collection from a poet at the peak of her powers, A God at the Door spans time and space, drawing on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to elevate the marginalized. These poems, taken together, traverse history, from the cosmic to the everyday. There is a playful spikiness to be found in poems like 'Why the Brazilian Butt Lift Won’t Save Us', while others, such as 'I Found a Village and in it Were All Our Missing Women', are fed by rage. As the collection unfolds, there are gem-like poems such as 'I Carry My Uterus in a Small Suitcase' which sparkles on the page with impeccable precision. Later, there are the sharp shocks delivered by two mirrored poems set side by side, 'Microeconomics' and 'Macroeconomics'.

Tishani Doshi's poetry bestows power on the powerless, deploys beauty to heal trauma, and enables the voices of the oppressed to be heard with piercing clarity. From flightless birds and witches, to black holes and Marilyn Monroe, A God at the Door illuminates with lines and images that surprise, inflame, and dazzle.

My thoughts

Let's imagine this, you and I both reading the same poetry and sitting in the same room, what's the probability of interpreting it in the same way? that’s the enigma of poetries. it moves you in a way almost transforming a part of you.

Take this one,

“we were girls. To open our legs/ was treason. We held/ our breath.”
“We could not imagine such freedom for ourselves”

Tishani Doshi’s poetries from her “A god at the door” book trigger memories of how I was told that the burden of family’s honor lies on my shoulders. Talk softly, walk softly, don’t make noise, don’t laugh, sit properly, don’t stay outside late, and so on. Breaking these rules brings shame and outcasts you from society. As a woman, to live a life on our terms is a crime.

On 12th May 2020, armed men attacked Dast-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul, killing 24 people of which 16 were mothers. This war-torn nation got tattered like an old rag. Violence isn’t a new thing in this landlocked country, but this horrific incident questions the entire humanity.

“After shooting in a maternity clinic in Kabul” speaks of such horror.
“Even if you could bring a man/ to recover your sister’s/ corpse and the newborn,/ where do you go from here?/”

Her poetries follow the theme of fierce feminism, the dark reality of society, and questioning the government almost giving a tone of pessimistic nature. She doesn’t soften or try to cover with roses and peonies, rather slaps hard on the face of patriarchy.

To end,

“the earth never tires of giving/ birth. If you get too close/ to a volcano, you should/ know it may erupt.”

About the author

Tishani Doshi (born 1975) is an Indian poet, journalist and dancer based in Chennai. Born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection.[1] She has been invited to the poetry galas of the Guardian-sponsored Hay Festival of 2006 and the Cartagena Hay Festival of 2007. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published by Bloomsbury in 2010 and was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2011,[2] and shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010.

This post is a part of #blogchatterA2Z2023 and Blogchatter.

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