#OwnVoices · Books · Diverse Books · South Asian · World Lit

Rangoli by Pavana Reddy – Book Review

Rangoli by Pavana Reddy is an #OwnVoices collection of poetry and the author’s debut published book. Ms. Reddy is a South Asian-Fijian woman, who self-published her collection in July 2017.

Rangoli has poetry pertaining to life as a woman, romance, and what it means to be an immigrant in a land where people don’t understand you and treat you in oppressive ways laced with ignorance.

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🏵️ The collection of poems really focus on what it means to be a foreigner and an unwanted, unfamiliar creature in a place that loathes what they don’t understand, or what is different from what they’re comfortable with.
🏵️ The poems about being a girl who is oppressed by her very gender and the conservative cultural customs she was raised in were the ones that I identified with the most.
🏵️ Her poems describing her parents having to move to foreign lands and the culture they left in the wake of that completely broke my heart as I could literally feel the same sort of grief my parents had felt when they had to do the same.
🏵️ Reddy’s words weave together myriad emotions pertaining to love, ache, loss, and growth, particularly with having to adapt to a new world where your familiar customs become shackles of both hope and fear.
🏵️ The poems consist of short passages, with more than a few that are laced in subtle metaphors that evoke beautiful imagery.
🏵️ The meaning and depth behind each passage was utterly lovely and moved me to tears on more than one occasion.
🏵️ While there isn’t quite a lot of meat and girth to the poems in regards to length, metaphors, etc. (which I normally must have in poetic works that I love), I found the motifs and substance within each piece to be profound and exquisite.
🏵️ To be perfectly frank, I have never read anything–poetry or novels–that have mirrored my own thoughts, feelings, and experiences where being a brown-skinned immigrant is concerned in a sea of white society, privilege, and oppression is concerned. As such, this collection and my reception of it is deeply personal.
🏵️ Objectively: 3.75 outta 5. Subjectively: 5 outta 5.

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