According to a recent The Rumpus review, Zeeshan Sahil's Pakistani translation, Light and Heavy Things, is a "thematically coherent, well-composed–albeit brief–collection that places Sahil right up there with the best of contemporary Pakistani poets, alongside folks like Hasina Gul, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Yasmeen Hameed." Commenting on the book's title, the review says, "... it's true that Sahil frequently juxtaposes the mundane and atrocious, the lighthearted and heartbreaking. Over the course of his unfortunately short life, Sahil witnessed multiple military coups marked by continuous, often violent political unrest. But the titular 'heavy' and 'light' refer as much to his home country's constant state of conflict as to his own embattled body: in 2008, Sahil died of complications related to a congenital deformity that had confined him to a wheelchair and caused health problems for most of his life. Yet in the twenty tumultuous years since his first book, Sahil penned an impressive seven more collections, from which editor Christopher Kennedy arranged Light and Heavy Things, the first of Sahil's works to be published in English." Living a life of angst in Taliban-run Pakistan, it's no surprise that Sahil's collection is filled with heartbreaking details. "The poems themselves take up themes both heavy (with titles like 'Taliban,' 'Time Bomb,' and 'Gestapo') and seemingly light ('Birds,' 'Black Bird,' 'The Second Sky') ... And yet, Sahil has a way of turning expectations for the otherwise quotidian or abstract into chilling accounts of life in 20th century Pakistan." The review continues, calling this new collection "a timely, challenging, much-needed translation, for which Kennedy and crew should be commended." Click here to read the entire The Rumpus review. To order your own copy of Light and Heavy Things, visit the BOA Bookstore.
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