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English Poems

English Poems

(Paperback)
by Jeet Thayil  
Language: English
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Book Summary of English Poems

(Paperback)

The narrator in these poems abandons the sectarian histories of 1990s' Bombay for the relative calm of New York, only to find himself a witness to September 11, 2001. Jeet Thayil's second full-length collection links images of water, addiction and forgiveness; poems that evoke multiple outsider perspectives are set in landscapes as various as Hong Kong, Doune (Scotland), Pashupatinath (Nepal), Bombay, and, always, New York City.



About the author:

Thayil is the son of the writer and editor, Padma Bhushan TJS George, who at various times in his life was posted in several places in India, in Hong Kong and New York. Thayil was mostly educated abroad. He received a Masters in Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College (New York), and is the recipient of grants and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Swiss Arts Council, the British Council and the Rockefeller Foundation.

His first novel, Narcopolis (Faber, 2011) is set mostly in Bombay in the 70s and 80s, and sets out to tell the city's secret history, when opium gave way to new cheap heroin. Thayil has said he wrote the novel, “to create a kind of memorial, to inscribe certain names in stone. As one of the characters [in Narcopolis] says, it is only by repeating the names of the dead that we honour them. I wanted to honour the people I knew in the opium dens, the marginalised, the addicted and deranged, people who are routinely called the lowest of the low; and I wanted to make some record of a world that no longer exists, except within the pages of a book.”[1]

He is the editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets (Bloodaxe, U.K., 2008), 60 Indian Poets (Penguin India, 2008) and a collection of essays, Divided Time: India and the End of Diaspora (Routledge, 2006).

He is the author of the libretto for the opera Babur in London, commissioned by the UK-based Opera Group with music by the Zurich-based British composer Edward Rushton. The world premiere of Babur will take place in Switzerland in 2012, followed by tours to the United Kingdom (where it will show at theatres in London and Oxford) and India. At the work’s core is an exploration about the complexities of faith and multiculturalism in modern-day Britain. Its action hinges on an imagined encounter between a group of religious fundamentalists and the ghost of Babur, who challenges their plans for a suicide strike.

Thayil is also known as a performance poet and musician. As a songwriter and guitarist, he is one half of the contemporary music project Sridhar/Thayil (Mumbai, New Delhi)

In 2006 he told the Indian newspaper, The Hindu, that he had been an alcoholic (like many of the Bombay poets) and an addict for almost two decades: "I spent most of that time sitting in bars, getting very drunk, talking about writers and writing. And never writing. It was a colossal waste. I feel very fortunate that I got a second chance." These days, he says, the only addictions he has are poetry and coffee. "Coffee's much easier to get than heroin."

He has worked as a journalist in New York, Mumbai and Bangalore.

 

Details Of Book : English Poems

Book: English Poems
Author:  
ISBN: 0143031171
ISBN-13: 9780143031178
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 2004-05-15
Publisher: Penguin Books India - Penguin
Number of Pages: 96
Language: English
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