The Game in Reverse: Poems

Taslima Nasrin, Author, Carolyn Wright, Translator, Tasalima Nasarina, Author George Braziller $25 (63p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1391-7
Born in 1962 in Bangladesh to Muslim parents, Nasrin, a physician, is one of the Muslim world's most daring-and reviled-feminists. The poems in this, her first book to be translated into English (some of these poems have appeared in the the New Yorker, Grand Street and other publications), passionately rebuke Islam and its attitude toward women. Some come off as pure didacticism, but this may be a function of the difficulties of translation from Bengali. Despite Wright's succinct footnotes, which clarify historical and cultural references, the English is rarely vivid enough to lift Nasrin's rage from the merely polemical to the truly poetic. But when it does, the result is powerful. In ``Fire,'' a woman notes how greedily her husband anticipates the afterlife, where, Muslim tradition holds, worthy men will have heavenly consorts: ``I see my doddering husband/ exult over the seventy-seven pleasures of sex.'' Then, imagining her own, less desirable hereafter, she writes: ``Watching the blind obscenity of men/ I burn inside in the everlasting fires of hell,/ a chaste and virtuous woman.'' (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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