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The Sun and Her Flowers Paperback – October 3, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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An Amazon Best Book of October 2017: Kaur deftly sidesteps and then punts the stereotypical sophomore slump of bestselling authors, offering a subtle yet powerful volume of poetry to her readers who have clamored for more since the debut of Milk & Honey. Split into five movements—wilting, falling, rooting, rising, blooming—Kaur’s poems glide up from the depths of heartbreak and hurt to embrace the strength and joy that can flower on the other side of hardship. Kaur workshops many of her poems through live readings, and the dedication to her craft vibrates through every phrase. Those who pressed Milk & Honey into the hands of their friends will exult in The Sun and Her Flowers, and Kaur’s expanded wisdom and scope should reel in new readers who will find much that resonates. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review
"Rupi Kaur is Kicking Down the Doors of Publishing” (The New York Times)
"At age 24, Rupi Kaur has been called the voice of her generation." (USA Today)
“Rupi Kaur sits atop a new wave in poetry.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Perhaps the best-known poet in the English-speaking world at this point” (Bustle)
"Rupi Kaur reinvents poetry ... (she) is undeniably equipped with the poet’s ability to articulate emotions that readers struggle to make sense of.” (The Economist)
“Outselling Homer Ten to One” (New York Magazine)
"The Poet Who Touched a Nerve" (The Times (London))
“there’s no denying that Rupi Kaur is currently one of the most — if not the most — popular poets in America …” (Boston Globe)
"Rupi Kaur is a rock star." (The Kansas City Star)
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by Rupi Kaur
Reviewed by C. J. Singh
Rupi Kaur’s brilliant multi-genrè novellas are thematically linked. So, I ‘ll begin briefly with the first, “milk and honey.”
In “milk and honey,” Rupi Kaur writes that her growing up as a female in a nurturing Sikh family shaped her development as a writer and artist: “the name Kaur runs in my blood; it was in my blood; it was in me before the word itself existed; it is my identity and my liberation – Kaur, a woman in my Sikhi” (page 184). To better understand Rupi Kaur’s books, the reader should take a look at the source of her “identity and liberation.” I’ll cite from an objective source by the British Professor Eleanor Nesbitt’s “Sikhism,” published in 2005, by Oxford University Press. Nesbitt, quotes from the Sikh scripture on “championing women”: From a woman comes the family. If one woman dies we seek another; without woman there can be no bond. Why call woman bad when she gives birth to rajas? Woman herself is born of woman, and none comes into this world without her.” THIS IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY !
Reading a large sample of the more than 3000 published amazon-reviews of "milk and honey," I noticed many reviewers commenting that the book evoked in them deep emotions including crying, which can be part of the self-healing process.
Rupi Kaur’s second book “the sun and her flowers” is an engaging journal that transcends as a brilliant novella. Narrated in first-person singular point-of view, she creatively presents many poems composed as free verse, prose-poems, prose, and evocative drawings. Her poem on the back cover, which she herself illustrated, is an excellent example:
“this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom.”
A novella of young-adult genrè, it’s divided into a five-chapter journey of the protagonist, who is metaphorically envisioned as a flower wilting; falling; rooting; rising; blooming. These correspond to the linear storytelling pattern of the inciting incident, protagonist’s efforts, series of complications, climax, and resolution. An upbeat resolution presented.
On the opening pages the inciting incident:
“on the last day of love
my heart cracked inside my body
i spent the entire night
casting spells to bring you back
i reached for the last bouqet of flowers
you gave me
now wilting in their vase
i popped their heads off
and ate them”
In this book, the author develops in much greater detail the immigrant experience. Not only of the Punjabi immigrants from north India like her parents but also of immigrants in general (page 151):
“so how dare you mock your mother
when she opens her mouth and
broken english spills out
she already knows what it feels like
to have an entire nation laugh when she speaks
she is more than our punctuation and language
we might be able to paint pictures and write stories
but she made an entire world for herself”
As brilliant insertions, Rupi Kaur composed compact odes and illustrated each with her drawings: “ode to sobha singh’s ‘sohni mahiwal’ ” (page 169); “ode to matisse’s ‘dance’ ” (page 203); ode to amrita sher-gil’s ‘village scene 1938’ ” (page 211); ode to raymond douillet’s ‘a short tour and farewell’ ” (page 237).
Both of Rupi Kaur’s novellas will continue to appeal as the voice of the contemporary young-adults globally.
First of all, half of this book are one-liners from her first book, and most of her longer pieces felt lazy and ill-thought out. I found myself skipping/ losing interest through most of them. Furthermore, I just can't ignore the more popular pieces she has claimed as her own when any avid reader can tell you they are not.
Example 1 :
"you must see no worth in yourself
if you find me worth less
after you've touched me
as if your hands on my body
and reduce me to nothing" - rupi kaur
sounds awfully familiar to my favorite quote by Kaija Sabbah:
“If you consider a woman less pure after you’ve touched her
maybe you should take a looks at your hands.”
Example 2: (This is from her first book)
"She was music, but he had his ears cut off" - Rupi Kaur
"She was like a piano in a country where everyone has had their hands cut off." - Angela Carter
- rupi kaur
"i want more men
with flowers falling from their skin
more water in their eyes
more tremble in their hands
more women in their hearts
than on their bodies
more softness in their height
more honesty in their voice more wonder
more humility in their eyes."
- Nayyirah Waheed
The pieces speaking about some of the hardest topics seem so surface level, I felt wrong reading it. I would never give this to my daughter. Not to mention the randomly sprinkled poems talking about her being an immigrant, all of them felt so out of place and awkward next to her other pieces.
Anyways, I could go on and on about how much her work mirrors the work of lesser-known authors, but I think the smart readers already know this. As a Punjabi woman, I wish we were better represented. I feel let down and embarrassed by this author and would never recommend it to anyone.
I can only hope she grows up one day and finally finds her voice.