Synopses & Reviews
Following up on her 1998 collection, The Heart of a Deer, at the dark heart of "Pascale Petit's" new collection -- short listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the U.K.'s most prestigious poetry award -- is a daughter's fraught relationship with her dying father, a man whose legacy to her was violence and abandonment. Rich in the imagery of the Amazonian jungle -- fire ants, shaman masks, shrunken heads -- these poems at once ward off and redeem the father through myriad transformations. Another group of poems is inspired by Petit's mother and by a family vineyard in France. Refusing oblique irony, quotidian props, cant, or any pretensions to urban hipness, Petit takes her considerable risks. With fierce courage, she not only survives the brutal facts of her past, but transmutes them, through vivid imagination, into art.