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Adam Lowe "Author of Troglodyte Rose" (Leeds, UK)

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The Fat Black Woman's Poems (Virago Poets)
The Fat Black Woman's Poems (Virago Poets)
by Grace Nichols
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, poignant and powerful, 24 Sep 2009
The Fat Black Woman's Poems really introduced me to poetry writing. I had tried it out before, but always in a schoolyard, nursery-rhyme kind of way. I tried sonnets and haikus and acrostic poems, but rarely did anything have verve or passion. Then I read this, aged 16, and fell in love with poetry and with Nichols specifically. The voice was so clear, slicing through injustice and prejudice with a witty lash of the tongue, a withering glare or a simple yawn. The strength of the Fat Black Woman is her inertness. She loves herself, so it matters little what anyone else thinks. She is round, and thus full and complete; she does not need the starving ideologies of others.

Nichols' verse zings with a straightforward assertiveness, and yet is redolent with flavour. With a few carefully-placed words, she recalls both cold urban spaces and warm, far-off islands, yet firmly resists sentimentalism and the holidaymaker's trappings of palm trees and seashells. Nichols, then, is real, and her voice convincing, whole, bold. Indeed, I was rather surprised to discover our confident Fat Black Woman is, in actuality, a skinny black woman instead. But like Nichols, it's irrelevant which social strata you come from; we all have a little fat black woman inside us.

The Percolated Stars
The Percolated Stars
by Rhys Hughes
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books of all time . . ., 24 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Percolated Stars (Paperback)
In response to the review above--Rhys might very well have been taking drugs, but even more scary, this is how he usually writes. For me, The Percolated Stars is one of his most mainstream novels, but also his most satisfying. It reminds me of Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, which was a film I loved as a child. But Rhys' story is far more perverse, darker, funnier and more brazen. The economy of language is spot on: a neat blend between evocative and unpretentious. The wordplay makes this a real fun ride, and Rhys knows exactly how to entertain.

I can't recommend this enough.

(Oh, and one correction to the review above: the second act doesn't follow his brother, but rather an alternate version of himself created by the hero moving so fast he moves back in time.)

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