A God at the Door
Description"We are homesick everywhere," writes Tishani Doshi, "even when we're home." With aching empathy, righteous anger, and rebellious humor, A God at the Door calls on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to redefine belonging and unveil injustice. In an era of pandemic lockdown and brutal politics, these poems make vital space for what must come next--the return of wonder and free movement, and a profound sense of connection to what matters most. From a microscopic cell to flightless birds, to a sumo wrestler and the tree of life, Doshi interrupts the news cycle to pause in grief or delight, to restore power to language. A God at the Doorinvites the reader on a pilgrimage--one that leads us back to the sacred temple of ourselves. This is an exquisite, generous collection from a poet at the peak of her powers.
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About the Author
Tishani Doshi is an award-winning poet, writer, and dancer. She has published six books of poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in newspapers and journals such as the Guardian, the National, and the Hindu, and her essays, poems and short stories have been widely anthologized. Doshi lives in Tamil Nadu, India, and is currently Visiting Professor of Practice, Literature and Creative Writing at New York University, Abu Dhabi.
"'The shock we carry is that the world / doesn't need us, ' Doshi writes in "Self." In this collection so concerned with the apocalyptic inertia of climate change and political violence, however, the self--that is, the human ego at work--is absolutely necessary. Doshi brings complicated emotions to our geopolitical crises; her poems swerve from humorous to plaintive. Humanity, for Doshi, is full of contradiction, of despair coexisting with hope."--New York Times
"The witty, wise and clear-eyed novelist, dancer and poet deploys both rage and sharp analysis . . . covering issues from the precarious state of the environment to the treatment of women."--The Guardian, "2021 in Books: What to Look forward to This Year"
"A God at the Door is an ambitious and exploratory book about the contradictions of aging, feminist archetypes, and historical and contemporary ruins. . . . Few are able to write with such range of sensibilities, which are, in a sense, nomadic and voraciously searching. There are lines that are so pleasurable to the ear ("Drum up a feast of rain") and so leveling in their brutal intelligence ("The dog is an epistemologist / even though she cannot spell the word. / She knows what she knows") that the route of her future work has me curious. And waiting."--Harriet Books, Poetry Foundation
"In one of this book's lush, thoughtful, sometimes necessarily jarring poems, Tishani Doshi writes, 'the body of earth is the body of us.' Perhaps we care for our own and each other's bodies with just as much, and just as little reverence as we care for the earth. Throughout A God at the Door, Doshi demonstrates where the divine is at work in the mundane, and places where the world severs the living from the divine. No, she is more specific than that. Doshi writes how humans destroy life, killing the divine inside others. This book's gaze is global and copious. It moves from lost species to lost coasts to lives lost to gunfire in a maternity clinic in Kabul. But, the witness accompanies a fierce will toward survival. The language in A God at the Door is fiery and mesmerizing, as if sparked by something we might call the divine."--Orion
"By invoking the mythic associations of femininity, fertility, and the environment, Doshi imbues her meditations on modern-day devastations with a sense of wonder. Even as she writes about issues as current as COVID-19, she never loses sight of the smallness of our moment and the knowledge that even if we do not live to see it, there will be new growth where there has been loss."--Chicago Review of Books
"A glimpse into what it means to be inconsolably, joyously human." --Rita Dove, The New York Times Magazine
"This poetry book, written during the height of pandemic lockdowns, looks ahead at what comes next. What must come next. These poems take in the wonders of life and translate them into stories of wonder and free movement, poems focusing on connecting to what is most important in our lives. Politics and the news cycle are oppressive, and this collection offers a reprieve without mere escape."--Book Riot