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Out of Syllabus: Poems

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 |

Out of Syllabus: Poems

Sumana Roy is one of the most original writers in Indian English today, whose writing easily slides out of the clutches of genres.’—The Indian Express

Full Title: Out of Syllabus: Poems

Author: Sumana Roy
Publisher: 

Award Category: 
About the Book: 

‘Sumana Roy’s wonderful book of poems, Out of Syllabus, combines rational ordering with the “unreason” of striking figures of speech. The rational ordering lies in the naming of sections as items in a comprehensive syllabus: “History”, “Chemistry”, “Physics” and so on. The striking figures of speech are everywhere in these poems. They give “out” in the book’s title a negative as well as a positive meaning. These metaphors are often coupled to what they figure by way of a key word in Out of Syllabus: “is.” But you must read these powerful and challenging poems for yourself, dear reader, to get a feeling for what they are like and for what they mean as unique poetic experiences.’
—J. Hillis Miller, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of California at Irvine


About the Author: 

Sumana Roy is the author of How I Became a Tree and Missing: A Novel. She writes from Siliguri, India.


Excerpt: 

‘Sumana Roy is one of the most original writers in Indian English today, whose writing easily slides out of the clutches of genres.’—The Indian Express ‘“Every relationship is a long-distance relationship,” we read in one of Sumana Roy’s intriguing new poems. Out of Syllabus brilliantly anatomizes those relationships, viewing them from every disciplinary perspective: chemistry, physics, biology, geography, history, botany—and finally art. The result is a dazzling dissection of love, longing, and loss in all their conflicting moods and moments. Roy’s images and metaphors are as enigmatic as they are precise. However private and personal her subjects, Roy maintains an aesthetic distance, wit and verbal control that recalls Sylvia Plath—but a Plath less angry, wiser—even philosophical.


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