“In this book, her first, facts meet fiction with devastating scenarios, such as what the plane ride was like: An eager boy in the back row awaits a tour of the cockpit; a mother tires of her demanding little son, dressed in OshKosh overalls.”
— Marsha Lederman for the Globe and Mail
“Renée Sarojini Saklikar has a hankering for including gaps and interruptions in her work. And her new book of poetry, children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections, reflects this predilection.”
—Charlie Smith for the Georgia Straight
“This poetry collection is beautiful, devastating, difficult and important. Difficult in terms of subject matter, but yet the narrative was so compelling, N herself leading the reader through so many lives and stories, plot and intrigue. Throughout, I needed to take short pauses because it all was a little too much, but then I’d pick the book right up again, the poetry accessible and fascinating, rich with history and voices.”
—Kerry Clare, books editor at 49th Shelf and blogger at PickleMeThis.com
Below are a selection of in-depth reviews that delve into children of air india. For a list of all reviews, click here.
Bees, not moths, figure in Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s butter-coloured chapbook, After the Battle of Kingsway, the Bees—from above/ground press. The 15-page suite is an excerpt from volume 2 of Saklikar’s ongoing long work about place and identity, thecanadaproject—from which her first book, Children of Air India, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, also draws…”
You can read the review at above/ground press HERE.
“…The long poem begins in aftermath, perhaps a broken love affair, an argument, escalated into war, has ceded into the depths of time. A fascinating play with language and concepts, the images of bees hover in the background as if painted into different dimensions of time overlapping, the poem works on different levels, as if in parallel realities. In the work, bee images surface, sometimes as if the protagonists in the story are bees and there are images of bees, the inside of nests, the making of wax enclaves for honey. A magic symbol in pagan mythology, symbolizing the productivity of the community, fertility and royal enclaves, the imagery weaves an allusion to bloodlines and the tenacity of the human spirit in adversity. As if a comment on the strained cultural way of the West during the Industrialized Economy and the ensuing violence in personal relationships with whispers of the reclaiming of Holy Spirit tenets and cultural knowledge in the New Computerized Society beginning to recreate peace…”
“As the letters, poems, emails and texts in this collection are grouped according to the age of the poets at the time of writing, poets and their eras collide. And what grand collisions they are. The book is rich in loss and endings, longevity and, no matter what the age, erotic and sometimes erratic explorations in the realm of love.”
For such a weighty subject matter, Saklikar’s thoughtful questioning works through language as much as it does through subject, managing a playful display of sound and shape, allowing form and function to ebb and flow, strike and slice as required…”
“[children of air india] is a testament, both vulnerable and damning… Saklikar wrestles with vast, devastating emotions, while at the same time gently cradling individual lives, allowing them to stand as their own record of loss.”