Poetry. Cross-Genre. Asian American Studies. In this new prose document, Bhanu Kapil follows a film crew to the Bengal jungle to re-encounter the true account of two girls found living with wolves in 1921. Taking as its source text the diary of the missionary who strove to rehabilitate these orphans—through language instruction and forcible correction of supinated limbs—HUMANIMAL functions as a healing mutation for three bodies and a companion poiesis for future physiologies. Through wolfgirls Kamala and Amala, there is a grafting: what scars down into the feral opens out also into the fierce, into a remembrance of Kapil's father. The humanimal text becomes one in which personal and postcolonial histories cross a wilderness to form supported metabiology. "Lucidly, holographically, your heart pulsed in the air next to your body; then my eyes clicked the photo into place. Future child, in the time you lived in, your arms always itched and flaked. To write this, the memoir of your body, I slip my arms into the sleeves of your shirt. I slip my arms into yours, to become four-limbed."
Author City: BOULDER, CO USA
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Bhanu Kapil is the author of five works of poetry/prose: THE VERTICAL INTERROGATION OF STRANGERS (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), INCUBATION: A SPACE FOR MONSTERS (Leon Works, 2006), HUMANIMAL: A PROJECT FOR FUTURE CHILDREN (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), SCHIZOPHRENE (Nightboat Books, 2011), and BAN EN BANLIEUE (Nightboat Books, 2015). She maintains a widely read blog on social incubation, prose experiments, and dogs: Was Jack Kerouac A Punjabi? She lives in Colorado, where she teaches at Naropa University.
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Song-Reviewed by Anderson Reinkordt @ Octopus
Brandon Shimoda @ CutBank
Olivia Cronk @ Bookslut