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A Terrible Thing by Gita Ralleigh

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‘This collection teems with awe-inspiring women and their songs of survival, its poems breaking loose and blooming in multiple languages. Ralleigh soars through wisdom traditions to find words that affirm unspeakable pain with immeasurable beauty.’ Nisha Ramayya

‘A Terrible Thing is studded with jewels of language, and a calm surface that belies the drama of the stories it tells. Her poems have a quiet power and assurance, daring you not to be won over to them. That they persuade so thoroughly is testimony to Ralleigh’s talent.’  Rishi Dastidar

Gita Ralleigh’s A Terrible Thing crosses cultures and borders to pay tribute to the goddesses who sit ‘on the roof of the world’. Poems delicate and formidable as their protagonists—who include Draupadi and Bollywood’s Nargis, Erzulie and Oshun, Saraswati and Anagolay— thrill with dazzling lines and elemental explosiveness. They speak of diaspora and the way landscape holds memory, of the precarious power of girlhood, the terrible love of motherhood; while issuing a rallying cry for us to live fearlessly ‘as wise women, who rule the world’.



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