“It is clear from this collection, and from reviews of her other collections that I will definitely read in the near future (White Elephants, winner of the 1995 Barnard New Women Poets Prize, and World Hotel winner of the 2003 Anisfield-Wolf book award) that Vazirani was more than capable of escaping the marketing box of ‘Indian-American poet’. Despite the entrancing voices, the touches of personal classicism just strong enough to ignite my curiosity about Hindu mythology, what impressed me most about Radha Says was the formal experimentation. Doing away with punctuation and inviting the reader right into the centre of the poem, brandishing caesura in a confident and new way and exploring the problematic prose-poem in the Ghalib sequence, Vazirani never lets her formal play overtake the content. Those who insist on reading Radha Says as some kind of explanation of a mad-woman should take a second to look at her deftly handled and controlled forms before declaring these poems as evidence.
I think that is the beauty of this collection: the occasional flashes of a feeling of coherence, of understanding, in an otherwise terrifyingly spasmodic and uncertain female landscape.”
Read the entire review here.
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