Shailja Patel's "Migritude" needles your conscience, demands that your muscles awaken to the riotous dance of social justice, and thrills your literary taste buds with its epic roller coaster through the bitter valleys of imperial violence and the savory peaks of revolutionary triumph. Plus it takes care of all your holiday shopping in one fell swoop -- admittedly, a few of your in-laws may take your gift of "Migritude" as some sort of personal criticism of their unenlightened embrace of capitalism -- but that's just the signal for you to take them to a live performance of "Migritude." The best book I have ever read; the best poetry I have ever experienced.
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 priests, all the protests.
I buy her book at Amazon.com. When it arrives, I tear the package open: Migritude. In its reading, I'm surprised.
Shailja reminds us: it is easier to run from a man in jeans, than in saris.
I was pulled into a different world. It was a different kind of terror: rape: what men sometimes do.
Terror: on 9/11/11, a woman from India was taken off a plane; it made no sense: she was just sitting in her seat, near two men with turbans; someone said the men went to the bathroom too many times: they must be terrorists: the authorities took that woman away; held her against her will.
What I learn about Shailja is what speaks of what travels beyond saris.
How many saris her mother wanted her to have; not Shailja's choices: a mother's desire, not a daughter's: perhaps, a still different kind of terror.
I think of a shop on University Avenue, in Berkeley: I've passed it by so many times before.
There's that blue sari in the window. I remember the mannequin faces.
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 treat. Shailja Patel's gem is a delight to hold; enjoy the strong wood cut graphics and luxuriate in her flowery barreling journey through a tumultuous ever transitioning life. I really do not have adequate language to describe how much I love this book and think you should buy it. Really, it is the best piece I have read and felt in a long, long time. Just buy it. For you. And your friends.
Shailja Patel's book is deeply satisfying for hungry readers who crave poetry that feeds the soul and nudges every brain cell awake. Beautiful writing that is extremely personal and yet manages to address the wider political issues of empire, injustice, colonialism and what it means to be an immigrant. This is not writing for the faint of heart - it is strong and rich and powerful; it is disturbing and uncomfortable but funny and tender. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves poetry, anyone who is looking for a good Christmas gift to buy, anyone at all...
The potent reminder of "Shilling love" brought me to tears. I remember well Kenya's "lost decade" and how it intensified my guilt as a "victim" of fierce "Shilling love" in a country where so many have so little.
I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid, joyful and poetic depiction of London as an international city.
Thank you for telling the story of the rapes of Kenyan women by British soldiers and the Kenyan gulag.
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 :) it's been too long since words inspired such a sparkling array of emotions in me. thank you, shailja, for nourishing us with your radical intelligence and wit.