Ban En Banlieue

Bhanu Kapil (Author)


An evocative exploration of body and politics by one of our most exciting innovative writers. Bhanu Kapil's Ban en Banlieue follows a brown (black) girl as she walks home from school in the first moments of a riot. An April night in London, in 1979, is the axis of this startling work of overlapping arcs and varying approaches. By the end of the night, Ban moves into an incarnate and untethered presence, becoming all matter-- soot, meat, diesel oil and force--as she loops the city with the energy of global weather. Derived from performances in India, England and throughout the U.S., Ban en Banlieue is written at the limit of somatic and civic aims.

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
January 06, 2015
6.0 X 0.5 X 7.5 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author

BHANU KAPIL is a British-Indian emigrant to the United States. She is the author of five full-length works of poetry/prose: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (2006), humanimal [a project for future children] (2009), Schizophrene (2011), and Ban en Banlieue (2015). Since 2007, she has been incubating "Ban" through performances, talks, and collaborations in the U.S., India, and the U.K. She teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, CO.


Endorsements: Time Out New York chooses Ban en Banlieue as one of their most anticipated books of 2015 Review Quotes "The project is presented as an abandoned novel that reads as a document of Kapil's expansive and varied process of researching, planning, and writing. "A brown girl on the floor of the world" is the central image, and the porous relationship between Ban's story and the story of Kapil writing and thinking about Ban is fundamental throughout. Kapil casts and recasts descriptions of Ban alongside documentation of the author's own acts of lying down, undertaken through performances, protests, and somatic exercises. The result is a complex and deeply engaged "literature that is not made from literature."--Publishers Weekly "It is not a novel so much as a birth, a death, a violent "discharge." It was born from an accumulation, a messy building up of notes which was--according to Kapil--assembled by chopping it up on a butcher's block. The body of Ban En Banlieue was assembled through violence, a body assembled by means of its own violent deconstruction. Even unto itself, this might seem like a self-contradiction that cannot be reconciled. Kapil's beautiful, bleeding, half-dying, half-living, anti-novel is well aware of this."--Meghan Lamb, Entropy Magazine