Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods

Tishani Doshi. Copper Canyon, $16 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-55659-550-9
In her third collection, Indian writer and dancer Doshi (The Adulterous Citizen) takes a simultaneously lyrical and documentary approach to violence against women. The title poem gestures towards the brutality women have experienced while advocating for the ego-strength and bravery to bear witness and testify against this violence on behalf of victims who may not be able to speak: “Girls/ are coming out of the woods/ with panties tied around their lips,/ making such a noise, it’s impossible/ to hear.” The core of the collection centers women “even though they have no names and some of them/ have satin strips instead of faces, they all have stories/ which go on and on.” Among the multiple questions posed by the book, two stand out: “what of ruined flesh?” and “Do you feel destroyed,/ girl?” Doshi leads a serious interrogation, but her work isn’t without playfulness and sarcasm, and she takes pleasure in such simple turns as describing landscapes or weather: “The washing’s on the line./ There are pillows in the grass./ All the weeds we pulled up yesterday/ lie in clotted heaps, dying slowly.” Doshi’s searing imagery and high lyrics are bound to take readers’ breath in equal measure. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Hardcover - 114 pages - 978-1-55659-551-6
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