Hera Lindsay Bird (Hera Lindsay Bird)

Hera Lindsay Bird's self-titled debut, Hera Lindsay Bird, is crammed with shocking and often hilarious imagery, nestled against bare sentiments: “I am falling in love and I don't know what to do about it / Throw me in a haunted wheelbarrow and set me on fire.”

Bird's introductory poem captures the book's tone: “I wrote this book, and it is sentimental / Because I don't have a right-sized reaction to the world / To write a book is not a right-sized reaction / To put all your bad thoughts on paper / And make someone else pay for them.”

Bird excels at this play between dark, ironic humour and bare, unironic distress. “Life! / I should never have thought I could do it.”

Elsewhere, she writes, “The mother joke is here, and there is no punchline / this is a poem, not a joke, and the only way out is death / You stare and stare at your vast superfluity of life / it stretches out beyond itself, like too many razors on a kite tail.”

A truly gripping and startling debut that promises great things.

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Jonathan Ball is a writer, filmmaker, and scholar living at www.jonathanball.com.

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