One Man Two Executions – Arjun Rajendran (Hardcover)


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In his latest poetry collection, Arjun Rajendran begins by resurrecting voices and stories from 18th century Pondicherry: of a French ship that must change its flag to render itself invisible to the English fleet, of blind men contemplating a lunar eclipse or an unfortunate condemned to the absurdity of a second execution.

Then jumping across centuries, the other two sections in this book explore intimacy, travel, hauntings and generational angst.

Arjun Rajendran’s new poems have a huge appetite and a magnificent ambition. Here, the spectres of the past are given flesh and blood and begin to live again. They are not marionettes against a backdrop but living people and like living people they infiltrate your memory and stain your consciousness, leaving strange odours: durian, gunpowder and hypocrisy in your nose.

  • Jerry Pinto

Arjun Rajendran writes a poetry of genuine surprise and reinvention, soldering together the most far-flung elements of experience into a compelling lyric unity. The historical fragment, the topically political, the shared cultural and the minutely personal — all of these are transformed by his acute metaphorical vision.

  • Anjum Hasan

Experimental and inquisitive, these are poems that demand an imagination where ‘Dravidian’ is struck out for ‘Darwinian’ and ‘whale’ replaced by ‘while’, time becoming space like it does on a clockface.

  • Sumana Roy


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