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How to Wash a Heart Reviews

How to Wash a Heart by Bhanu Kapil

How To Wash A Heart

Bhanu Kapil

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Liverpool University Press
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication date: 26 Mar 2020
ISBN: 9781789621686

Always at the centre of her books and performances are the experiences of the body, and, whether she is exploring racism, violence, the experiences of diaspora communities in India, England or America, what emerges is a heart-stopping, life-affirming way of telling the near impossible-to-be-told.

3 stars out of 5
Kate Kellaway
16 Feb 2021

"unsettling reflections on displacement"

And where does the heart come in? The collection began as an event at the ICA in 2019 – an artistic collaboration with Kapil’s sister, Rohini, involving red ice cubes thrown out into the Mall to melt. But which heart needs washing? I’d like to vote for the host’s, although it is revealing to read (in the afterword) about a cardiologist who educates about the way a heart registers trauma. One cavil: Kapil’s use of pronouns is maddeningly unclear – the “you” too often guesswork. But an assertive beauty surfaces from turmoil. After the host’s “Make a list of what you need / And I will get it, you ungrateful cow”, the guest responds: “This is what I need: / The light and the heat and the yesterday / Of my work.” That “yesterday” sings for its supper.

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