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The Rose of Toulouse

Fred D'Aguiar

The Rose of Toulouse by Fred D'Aguiar
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Categories: 21st Century, American, British, Caribbean
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (80 pages)
(Pub. May 2013)
9781847772299
£9.95 £8.96
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(Pub. May 2013)
9781847777799
£9.95 £8.96
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • ‘I should never ask / directions to my childhood’, writes Fred D’Aguiar: there is no way back home. The Rose of Toulouse is a book of geographies tracing the various places the poet has lived, their histories, and his own history as he travels away from who he was. His transformations and shifts – between Britain, Guyana and the USA – are his identity: ‘Each year I travel, my passport photo / looks less like me.’ In both flexible free verse and more formally patterned poems, D’Aguiar conveys the fragility of flesh and the transience of memories.
    Politics 
    Rigged 
    Key West 
    Excise 
    Boy Soldier 
    War on Terror 
    Wartime Aubade 
    Trace 
    Monday Morning 
    Shoes My Father Wore 
    The Lady with the Purple Glove 
    Underwater 
    Wednesday’s Child 
    Yesterday’s News 
    The Dream Giver 
    Letter from King Ferdinand of Spain to the Tainos in October 1493 
    Legal Tender 
    Dreamboat 
    Wish 
    News from Nowhere 
    English 
    Life 
    Dalí on Dickens 
    Calvino 
    In Memoriam
    Love 
    19 Victoria Street, Shrewsbury 
    A Concrete Walk in the Woods 
    The Rose of Toulouse 
    Saturday, Ocean Creek 
    Calypso History Lesson 
    from American Vulture
    - The Vulture Goddess 
    - Vulture Highway Code 
    - Vulture Red Letter Day 
    - Vulture’s Theory of Perpetual Return 
    - Vulture in El Dorado 
    Emily Dickinson, How Does Your Garden Grow? 
    The Storm 
    The Fence 
    Night Swim 
    The Giant of Land’s End 
    Fred D'Aguiar was born in London of Guyanese parents, and grew up in Guyana before returning to London for his secondary and tertiary education. He has lived in the US since the mid-90s and currently he is Professor of English at UCLA. He trained as a psychiatric nurse before reading African ... read more
    Praise for Fred D'Aguiar 'Throughout the collection, D'Aguiar crafts brilliant, exhilarating moments with thoughtful uses of the line.... For the Unnamed is an accomplishment that deserves repeated readings.'

    Eric Yip, Poetry London

      'D'Aguiar's rhymes give the dialogues between Black Swan and the jockey and irresistible energy as freed slave and horse find common ground... It's a glorious gallop of a book.'

    Rishi Dastidar, The Guardian

    'D'Aguiar's electric prose vividly recounts a cancer diagnosis and treatment in the Covid year, a private suffering amid a collective one.'

    Sandeep Parmar, New Statesman

    'Nothing in this book is sentimental or simple... Reading Year of Plagues is a contradictory experience. Both its language and the experience it conveys are too complex and rich to skim over, and yet the prose has an ongoing urgency, speed and impatience that hustle the reader along. Time passes both slowly and quickly... Yet when he breaks into song or waxes rhapsodic, time stops.'

    Rachel Hadas, Times Literary Supplement

    'I've long admired D'Aguiar's poetry for its musicality, which rarely has anything less than perfect pitch, even when taking on extended narrative or dramatic monologue... Still, there's a shift in these Letters, even more swing and dare in the language and an unflinching political activism. Put simply, D'Aguiar is writing the most accomplished and interesting work of his life.'

    James Byrne, The Poetry Review

     
    'sharply observed...Part of [D'Aguiar's] defiance in the face of cancer is to throw everything he has onto the page. The result is weird and articulate and angry... his rage to live shivers in every sentence... I'm happy to report that Year of Plagues ends on a cautiously upbeat note. Cancer's had to pipe down.'

    Dwight Garner, New York Times
    'A visceral account of personal illness and social ills'

    Kirkus Reviews

    'Throughout, the author's resilience inspires. This makes the fragility of life devastatingly palpable.'

    Pulishers Weekly

      'In parts of Letters to America, Fred D'Aguiar comes to seem like Walcott's true twenty-first-century heir ... Fred D'Aguiar has written 'a canticle of water', a book for the individual bowed, imperilled, under the wave of history - monarchical and imperial - and crying out for collective action to stop it from consuming further shores. Letters to America is emphatically worth reading.'

    Camille Ralphs, Ambit
    'There are some exceptional poems, including the title poem Letters to America (An Abecedary) [...] The poetry is vibrant and musical'

    Adrian B. Earle, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal

    'An array of sublime poems that unfold unsettling accounts of 'black' identity and the horrors of slavery...written with refreshing candour.'
    Mohammad Fahran, Wasafiri
    'Translations from Memory everywhere suggests the vital necessity of continually revisiting and revising our cultural past... It asserts the presence of those who have been written out of it and shows how the complex legacies of slavery and colonialism remain under-explored and undigested.'
    Sarala Estruch, The Times Literary Supplement
    'D'Aguiar manages to weave together memoir, history and critical race theory in ways that deepen our understanding of his poetics...Translations from Memory [...] will no doubt cement his standing as one of the most important Guyanese writers of the twentieth century.'
    Leo Boix, Poetry London
     'D'Aguiar is not generally concerned with textual translation in this collection: he applies the word in a broader sense... abbreviations seem part of the serious trans-cultural game, inviting recognition, but also making the outsider notice the limits and exclusions their own education has entailed. Whether the planet's human creatures might coexist without radically mistranslating each other is one of the vigorously posed questions.'
    'Reformation' was The Guardian's Poem of the Week, September 24th 2018

     'D'Aguiar interrogates and reassesses whatever he sees in a poetry that is flexible and fast paced, every action, every relationship thrown into fierce relief by a sense of threat and insecurity...'
    Charles Bainbridge, The Guardian
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