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Migritude Paperback – November 30, 2010
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
For Shailja after Migritude
you pack a hefty wallop, Ms Patel,
you and your brew
distilled from bushels of memories
soaked in admonition
injected with judgment
corked carefully away like family treasures
left to ferment subcutaneously
steeped in your bones to marrow of rage
when the time is ripe
through every pore every follicle
you secrete the untold stories
two hundred proof, they burn going down
light headed we listen
heavy hearted we hear
we drink deep draught of your migritude
reel but do not fall
we are swamped in Niagara of your migritude
but do not drown
we are burned in Vesuvius of your migritude,
smelted, burned clean.
I hope everyone gets to experience this unique and uplifting work.
The things that stood out for me in this book are many. The menacing refrain of rising inflation in "Shilling Love" bringing home the impact of the manipulation of economies by Empire on people's lives, within and without. Harrowing family tales that double as exposures of crimes committed by Empire. Startingly evocative characterizations of the author's mother and father.
I found the structure of the book to be a challenge at first. A little perseverance will reward the reader, however, as it slowly comes together in the reader's mind as a satisfying whole.
It seems strange at first that the second half of the book is called "Shadow Book," when the effect is more like a sunlight of meanings and revelations (especially for the reader who has not seen the live performance.) But perhaps the shadows refer to the darker realities that are thrown in relief by the very shining of the author's intelligence and courage.
There are books which one may enjoy and then forget. This book you won't forget.
and the tenderness with which
the fist smashes the face of denial
i grooved to the synchronicity
of the drone tuned to afrobeat
of now on going wrapped
and the rap
of endless delight
the wonder of a new story
who knows what may rise
to the surface
of our ears
for the saris
that love was
this is an important and wonderful book. ms patel is very expressive and you can feel how this would have worked on stage as a performance. in this case for sure, you can tell a book by its cover!
Shailja Patel hooked me the first time I heard her 3 years ago (listening online in Vietnam) in a kpfa interview. She was reading an excerpt,” How Ambi became Paisley”. I sought her out, ‘friended’ her on Facebook and was fortunate to meet her in the flesh last year on the island of Lamu, where we became friends. I recently heard her reading another excerpt, “The Making” in another radio interview. I’d found both poems edifying and deeply moving – but they were but a taster of the power contained in the complete work. I found “Migritude” such compelling reading that I couldn’t stop until I’d finished it in the wee hours of the morning.
As a white person, growing up in racist Britain during the influx of South Asian migrants, I empathized strongly with her rage at her treatment in my country. I knew nothing of our colonialist history in India and Africa (euphemistically referred to as the ‘Commonwealth’) and I doubt that many others did or do. She articulates so eloquently my own fury and grief at the treatment of women at the hands of men, and of empire. The atrocities of the British colonialists I only became aware of in Kenya in the last couple of years – but not from Kenyans – they have also been kept in the dark about it. All that horrendous, hidden history! Shailja not only reveals, but uses the ancient tradition of cursing with her poetry.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
purchased for a college class. Very stirring prose. Didn't sell this one back after the course. Keeping.Published 7 months ago by cassandra porter
Migritude is exceptionally well designed and recently received a graphic design award. It is a book you want to buy in it's physical form to truly experience a fresh literary... Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by L. C. Talmadge
A Note to a Poet
There is no way to explain a poet's voice, except to say there are all the nations,
all the villages, all the people, all the salvations, all the... Read more
just finished reading "migritude" and i feel like all my senses are alive with fire and joy, and i'm loving this moment because i am living it through the eyes of a poet-goddess :)... Read morePublished on January 2, 2012 by n.a.
Shailja Patel's first book length work is a marvel. MIGRITUDE is derived from Patel's stage production of the same name, which traces her family's story/her story/the story of... Read morePublished on November 22, 2011 by Ravi C.
I stumbled upon a screening of Migritude a few years back while staying in Nairobi and felt compelled to live its message of brutal honesty, if I dared. Read morePublished on November 14, 2011 by Sara Goff
Seldom have I read a book in which such powerful eloquence and red hot rage danced together so intimately. Read morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Cynthia