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AUTHOR OF THE MONTH

Adil Jussawalla

Poet and critic Adil Jussawalla is one of the most influential personalities in the English Poetry circle in India. He has written two books of Poetry, Land’s End in 1962 and Missing Person in 1976. He has edited a seminal anthology of new writing from India in 1974 and co-edited an anthology of Indian prose in English in 1977. He writes a complex poetry – ironic, fragmented, non-linear, formally strenuous – that evokes and indicts a dehumanised, spiritually sterile landscape, ravaged by contradiction, suspended in a perpetual state of catastrophe. His more recent works are The Right Kind of Dog in 2013, Maps for a Mortal Moon: Essays and Entertainment in 2014 and I Dreamt a Horse Fell From the Sky in 2015. He was presented the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014 for his book of poetry Trying to Say Goodbye.

  • Shorelines

    About the Book

    In his poem ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, W.B.Yeats sees himself transformed into a golden bird after his death. The bird is meant to entertain the city’s lords and ladies by singing of ‘what’s past, or passing, or to come.’ In the real and imaginary Byzantiums we inhabit today, Adil Jussawalla’s poems have a similar purpose – to tell, foretell, and uncover the ravaged face of the present.

    ‘He’s there on that street, making sounds that belong

    to lands nobody knows, not in this world,

    past sailing, past understanding.’

    from Jussawalla’s poem ‘Navigation Marks’

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    Jerry Pinto

     

    These lines by Jussawallawith their images of the maritime, the mortal, and the beyond— drop anchors that stun as they fall through hulls and remembrance. There is a sense of being at once behind the helm of The Flying Dutchman, and trying to find sea-legs.
    This homage to a city, where tarpaulin allies with sky and weather, is rich in puns
    (“Faults not our own”-The Earthquake) and absurdity (“This number does not exist./ This port does not exist./ They should have told you.”).
    Shorelines is a treasure as immeasurable as its shipwrecks’.
    Arjun Rajendran

    $14
  • The Magic Hand of Chance

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Covering a range of subjects, mainly to do with poetry, its daily interventions, its work, this book adds to the selections of Adil Jussawalla’s prose that have appeared before: in Maps for a Mortal Moon, and in I Dreamt a Horse Fell from the Sky. In his chapter on Jussawalla in a forthcoming book, Vidyan Ravinthiran says ‘[His} time-shifts don’t feel erratic because his prose only becomes inexact when to do so seems the only option – when it comes to resisting subliminal pressures. Every sentence is saturated with thought, changes are rung on prior phrases, in a manner inspired by real-world vexations but not without an element of self-relishing play.’

    Poetrywala is happy to offer you more such prose.

    ‘To observe, to give witness, to hold in the memory the bereaved cow, the boy who has come to deliver the groceries, the poet in transit, the little boy who wet his pants laughing and who wept because a bird died, all these pass under the Jussawalla scanner, all these are transformed by the act of writing. Jussawalla’s fight against the Indian predilection for amnesia is relentless. He will not let you forget.’   – Jerry Pinto, from his Introduction in Maps for a Mortal Moon

    ‘Jussawalla’s curiosity is patently omnivorous and extends far into many disciplines and knowledges, drawing not least on Parsi, Hindu and Christian sources, science and social science, local politics or birdwatching. A continual subtheme throughout is the memory of Britain and Europe in the post-war years… considered not from an outsider’s point of view but with the deepest sympathy.’

    Vivek Narayanan, from his Introduction in I Dreamt a Horse Fell from the Sky

    $24