Book Reviews | The Globe and Mail Arts staff writers recommend three new books including Ayaz Pirani’s “How Beautiful People Are”

June 29, 2022: The Globe and Mail Arts staff recommend short and sweet summer reads.

How Beautiful People Are by Ayaz Pirani (Gordon Hill Press) – review by Rukhsar Ali

Image: The Globe and Mail

For those who answer, “Where are you from?” with an asterisked half-truth, you will find comfort in the in-between space where Ayaz Pirani’s newest collection of poetry digs in its roots. Animated through the character of Kabir from Pirani’s past work, How Beautiful People Are embodies love and loss, and longing and belonging all at once, journeying the reader through the complexity of the human condition and the dynamism of identity.

Written with allusions to the diwan (collection) of ginan and granth literature from the Indian subcontinent, the collection is unapologetic in its origins while simultaneously exploring the question of its postcolonial existence. Pirani’s speaker restlessly rustles the definitions of home through the book’s pages to find familiarity “on the last leg of / someone else’s journey.” But the task isn’t quite so simple, because “Once you leave the village / there’s no road back.”

Drawing from his own hyphenated identity, the poet, born in Tanzania and raised in Canada, snapshots moments in time in short, and often snappy, poems that revel in nuance in a world where “Nuance is heading for the door.” At times crisp and poignant, eccentric and whimsical, the poetry collection is an intergenerational garden where definitions of home rendezvous in cleverly structured poems on the page.

How Beautiful People Are is a mosaic of experiences, memories and tradition where these facets of being interplay. It’s a quick read that’ll leave you asking questions about origin and humanity, and a sense of comfort in not having all the answers.

Click here to purchase the book.

About the author
Ayaz Pirani was born in Tanzania and studied Humanities in Toronto and Montreal. His degree is from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His books include Happy You Are Here, Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets, and Bachelor of Art. His work has recently appeared in ARC Poetry Magazine, The Antigonish Review, The Malahat Review, and Guest 16.

Additional book reviews by The Globe and Mail Arts staff writers:
Tides by Sara Freeman (Penguin Random House Canada) – review by Marsha Lederman:
Tides begins with a woman on a long bus journey out, heading toward the sea. Who she is and why she’s leaving slowly unfold, revealed in bits and pieces in brief segments à la Jenny Offill. The segments can be as brief as a single sentence, but through each, the bitter onion of this woman’s life is unpeeled, and the reader begins to understand.
Read full review at The Global and Mail

Good Girl by Anna Fitzpatrick (Flying Books) – review by Rebecca Tucker:
Lucy Selberg, the protagonist of Toronto writer Anna Fitzpatrick’s debut novel, Good Girl, is a 25-year-old writer and bookseller also living in Toronto. After she meets Henry, a man with whom she’s able to explore her interest in kink (specifically, her interest in BDSM), Lucy finds herself also exploring, essentially, how to be the right kind of person – the right kind of colleague, the right kind of friend, the right kind of lover, the right kind of feminist, the right kind of writer. How to be good.
Read full review at The Global and Mail

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.