Hybristophilia – R Raj Rao


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Crime of passion, crime of uttering words provoking gender politics, crime of dissent, crime of scatology, crime of turning the definition of aesthetics on its head, crime of merely stating truths — these are some important tropes that populate R Raj Rao’s new volume, Hybristophilia. “See a therapist / Said my doc. / I’d rather see / The rapist, said I” — is an example of his no-nonsense direct-vernacular poetic device. Read the book for its urgency. — Sudeep Sen, author of Anthropocene, and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor)

R Raj Rao’s work has all the vigour and daring that was the hallmark of the Beat poets, particularly Ginsberg, who hovers like a guardian angel over the word-bursts that light up these pages to reveal —not without humour — the iniquities and dark complexities of our world. A cleverly constructed short story rounds off the collection and nicely complements the full-throated poetic utterances. — Kaiser Haq, Poet-Laureate of Bangladesh

R RAJ RAO is the author of six novels, six collections of much-anthologised poetry, two collections of short stories, two collections of plays, two books of queer theory, a train memoir, a biography of Nissim Ezekiel, and a co-translation of Laxmi Narayan Tripathi’s autobiography. His iconic work includes the novel The Boyfriend, translated into European languages and optioned for a feature film; Riyad Wadia’s critically-acclaimed short film BomGay, based on his poems; and the monologue The Wisest Fool on Earth performed in English and Hindi. Rao has been a Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and Visiting Professor at Concordia University, Canada; Dresden University, Germany; and Tubingen University, Germany. He was Head of the English Department at Pune University, and is currently Visiting Professor at Symbiosis University, Pune, and Nalanda University, Rajgir.


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