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This poetry collection maps the extraordinary events of the author’s uterine tumor alongside the figure of Mary, with whom the speaker finds deep companionship, as if thousands of years do nothing to separate them or their experiences of patriarchy. Deluge refers to both the incessant bleeding that accompanies the tumor and, of course, the flood. Chatti’s world of faith is derived from the Qur’an, where Mary herself is explored in greater detail than in the Bible, and the book is often a twin portrait of the female body, in all its biology and also its historical contexts. “Because life is grotesque / and absurd, the doctor uses a fetal chart to track my tumor’s growth” is part of the same poem that includes “when Mary gives birth, it is not clinical. / The sun bearing down on / her like an animal, a thousand / puny suns running / like yolks in globules of sweat.” Chatti employs the language and rhythms of prayer and devotion to break open her suffering and illuminate the trajectory of her medical journey in ways that are heartbreaking and epic. See the full list...
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