Poetry Book Reviews

Sisters’ Entrance

I’ve struggled to gather my thoughts on this collection, I was just so blown away and overwhelmed by the emotions elicited by this book. The poetry collected here comes from a very personal place for the author, who is a Sudanese refugee that survived the war and genocide in Darfur.

“When you build nations on someone’s bones
what sense does it make to break them?”

Some poems were heavy and spoke of her traumatic experiences such as in People Like Us and The Bride. Others, like Why I Haven’t Told You Yet, were more light-hearted but still carry a strong message. All of these poems pulled together shape the author, her family, her experiences, and her outlook on life.

“I want to live in a time where civil disobedience
doesn’t end in death,
where children aren’t born under the full moon
of revolution.
Where I haven’t lost more people than there are years in my life
I don’t want this kind of wisdom.
I’m still too young for this kind of pain.”

Emi is very mature for her age and writes beautifully. She is truly a remarkable young woman and I hope that she has a long career in writing ahead of her. The author has done a TED Talk about her experience with genocide that is absolutely worth watching. This book is invaluable for the reflections and memory history within it’s pages, this is a harrowing but ultimately hopeful read that I wish was talked about more in the book community. Highly recommended!

Title: Sisters’ Entrance
Author: Emtithal Mahmoud
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Pages: 128
Format: ARC / Ebook
Source: NetGalley

Brimming with rage, sorrow, and resilience, this collection traverses an expansive terrain: genocide; diaspora; the guilt of surviving; racism and Islamophobia; the burdens of girlhood; the solace of sisterhood; the innocence of a first kiss. Heart-wrenching and raw, defiant and empowering, Sisters’ Entrance explores how to speak the unspeakable.

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