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If They Come for Us

If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar
Paperback
Aug 07, 2018 | 128 Pages
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    Aug 07, 2018 | 128 Pages

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    Aug 07, 2018 | 128 Pages

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Praise

“[Fatimah] Asghar presents a debut poetry collection showcasing both a fierce and tender new voice. . . . Through simultaneously lyrical and frank poems like ‘Kal,’ ‘Ghareeb,’ and ‘Halal,’ Asghar allows poignant contradictions to rise to the surface.”Booklist

“In forms both traditional . . . and unorthodox . . . Asghar interrogates divisions along lines of nationality, age, and gender, illuminating the forces by which identity is fixed or flexible. Most vivid and revelatory are pieces such as ‘Boy,’ whose perspicacious turns and irreverent idiom conjure the rich, jagged textures of a childhood shadowed by loss.”The New Yorker

“This summer, [Asghar’s] debut poetry collection cemented her status as one of the city’s greatest present-day poets. . . . A stunning work of art that tackles place, race, sexuality and violence. These poems—both personal and historical, both celebratory and aggrieved—are unquestionably powerful in a way that would doubtless make both Gwendolyn Brooks and Harriet Monroe proud.”Chicago Review of Books

 “Every age has its poets who spring-load every line with the personal and political so that you know what it was to be fully alive in that time and place—or torn from it. Asghar provides this anguished specificity in her debut poetry collection, a meditation on identity, dislocation, and loss. . . . Taut lines, vivid language, and searing images range cover to cover. . . . Inventive, sad, gripping, and beautiful.”Library Journal (starred review)

“In this awe-inspiring debut, Asghar, writer of the Emmy-nominated web series ‘Brown Girls,’ explores the painful, sometimes psychologically debilitating journey of establishing her identity as a queer brown woman within the confines of white America. . . . Honest, personal, and intimate without being insular or myopic, Asghar’s collection reveals a sense of strength and hope found in identity and cultural history.’”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If They Come for Us is a beautiful book of poems that, as powerfully and deeply as any book I’ve read in a good while, wonders about, explores, and laments our many inheritances of violence, which are also inheritances of sorrow, and the ways those inheritances reside in our bodies and imaginations. And yet, the wonder of this book is the way that throughout the anguish and sorrow and rage, despite it, there is tenderness. There is sweetness. There is care. This book reminds us: These, too, are our inheritances. These, too, are our heirlooms. These, too, we must pass along.”—Ross Gay, author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry

“Fatimah Asghar’s work isn’t simply some of the most innovative poetry I’ve read; page after page, the book weaves productive ambiguity, textured explorations of the body, and lyrical precision into a work that is somehow just as much a mammoth book of short stories, an experimental novel, and a soulful memoir. I’m not sure this nation is deserving of such a marvelous, sensual, and sensory book, but I know we needed this. We so needed this.”—Kiese Laymon, author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Long Division

“In poems that are as historically aware as they are forward-thinking, Asghar reminds us with wit, wisdom, and compassion that a truly felt and thoughtfully written poem can be many things at once: a salve, an artifact, a puzzle, a flashlight in the face of imminent darkness, and even a whole home.”—Tarfia Faizullah, author of Registers of Illuminated Villages and Seam

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