The Coconut Girl is a collection of poems containing material that is from the Indian, female point of view with an insight into Punjabi culture.
We also follow the author through the hallucinogenic state of the brain following cancer treatment, and in her experience of life in multicultural Britain.
The protagonist in the poems is at the same time deeply vulnerable and strongly independent. Overall her strength of character shines through.
The Coconut Girl features poetry of deep imagery, not least in some of the poems exploring the experience of the female body post-operatively, such as in My Womb Is A Park Of Carnage.12
I will confess that I find it hard to review poetry because it depends on your mood when you read something. One month I will read a poem and I will not connect to anything. Another month I will reread the same poetry and think “Oh my gosh, this is exactly how I felt when….” I have bought poetry books by authors that people are supposed to adore and connect to…and nothing. Then there are others where I will read something and immediately drown myself in their words.
I kept coming back to The Coconut Girl because at first Sunita Thind’s imagery was staggering, read “Radiation Rainbow” for example. I needed to become separate and pretend I was back in college and see beyond the initial words. Then I thought, “Why?”
Thind’s ability to provide such vivid representations of cancer treatment is profound. The use of language has a punch in the gut reaction. Thind’s words are like Pollock in the midst of painting, but each slash of the brush is like the stroke of a pen against you.
The Coconut Girl takes on the patriarchy and racism at the same time. Family constructs that are handed down along with judgements. Thind is harsh in their locution of self-inflicted, family, and world expectations of culture. As I was reading the self-titled poem, I was thinking of apples. I was called an “Apple” when I was kid and it is said that in other cultures there too is another name for “apple”.
My “favorite” poems are “Tempered Stars,” and “Slapped for Wearing Slut Paint”.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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Publisher: Wild Pressed Books, 27 October 2020
Promotion materials provided by Love Books Tours