May 28, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Review: A God at the Door by Tishani Doshi

2 min read

Rachita Swain reviews Tishani Doshi’s latest poetry collection ‘ A God at the Door ‘ (HarperCollins, 2021) which is in tandem with and takes a stand for the deplorable condition of the contemporary marginal class.

  • Genre: Poetry
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2021
  • P-ISBN: 978-93-5422-734-9
  • Price & Number of pages: pp 112 | ₹ 499

Housing the body-politics

For Tishani Doshi, poetry begins and ends with making homes for cruel existence. Her newest collection of poems, A God at the Door, published in 2021, is a flagging distinction from the rest of her collections of poems— it evokes a rarity of the identifiable reserve for familiar oppression.

            As a profound dancer, Doshi’s preoccupation with the “body” can be recognized right from the start, in her debut collection, Countries of the Body which has taken the metaphor of the body to embody themes as disparately heterogenous as natural calamities like a tsunami to man-made ones like trafficking. The geographical dislocation, in rather abstract terms, is in for a search of mortal dignity she remarks the slippage of identity, “body slither out of body”. If the first collection is a generalized dedication to Rilke and lost bodies, her second collection, Everything Begins Elsewhere is a more obvious and particularized dedication to her guru, Chandralekha who aroused her polyphonic interest in bodies rendered through “lessons”. Thick-skinned “Bodies are like continents” are on the brink of drifting apart from the main picture and being ever ravaged. What resonated therein with us was –the home we yearn for is right in front of our eyes but we are looking for it ‘elsewhere’.

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