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The Opposite of an Exodus by Amara Amaryah


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‘Deeply daring, The Opposite of an Exodus traces an intricate line between fears of inheritance and dreams of freedom – all the while never losing hope in the possibility that liberation and lineage can exist as one.’ Victoria Adukwei Bulley

‘This is not a singular story of departure but one of multiple burials and births.’ Sumia Jaama

Amara Amaryah’s debut is a ‘backward walk’ towards oneself and one’s history, in which the poet plays with plurality of voice, story and silence. A mother and daughter sit down together as children, second-generation kids ‘choose language the way a carpenter chooses tools’. Archival in their various forms, these poems hold dialogue with bell hooks, Jamaica Kincaid and Ntozake Shange. They collage dreams, receipts, text messages, psalm. They live ‘somewhere between where I am and who I was’, activating this liminal space as a moment of perpetual rebirth.

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