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The January Children By Safia Elhillo

The January Children

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In her dedication Safia Elhillo writes, "The January Children are the generation born in Sudan under British occupation, where children were assigned birth years by height, all given the birth date January 1." What follows is a deeply personal collection of poems that describe the experience of navigating the postcolonial world as a stranger in one's own land.

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The January Children Summary


The January Children by Safia Elhillo

In her dedication Safia Elhillo writes, "The January Children are the generation born in Sudan under British occupation, where children were assigned birth years by height, all given the birth date January 1." What follows is a deeply personal collection of poems that describe the experience of navigating the postcolonial world as a stranger in one's own land.

The January Children depicts displacement and longing while also questioning accepted truths about geography, history, nationhood, and home. The poems mythologize family histories until they break open, using them to explore aspects of Sudan's history of colonial occupation, dictatorship, and diaspora. Several of the poems speak to the late Egyptian singer Abdelhalim Hafez, who addressed many of his songs to the asmarani-an Arabic term of endearment for a brown-skinned or dark-skinned person. Elhillo explores Arabness and Africanness and the tensions generated by a hyphenated identity in those two worlds.

No longer content to accept manmade borders, Elhillo navigates a new and reimagined world. Maintaining a sense of wonder in multiple landscapes and mindscapes of perpetually shifting values, she leads the reader through a postcolonial narrative that is equally terrifying and tender, melancholy and defiant.

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The January Children Reviews


"A taut debut collection of heartfelt poems."-Publishers Weekly * Publishers Weekly *
"Safia Elhillo's triumph is not that she sings about novel love and heartbreak, but that she does so in an unforgettable voice."-Irene Mathieu, Muzzle -- Irene Mathieu * Muzzle *
"Safia Elhillo's The January Children offers the reader a galaxy of Sudanese voices engaging individual and collective memory in a manner that not only introduces readers to the nuances that animate that ancient land of layered diversity, which lends this collection a collage-like quality that is as sublime in its coherence as it is revelatory in its execution."-Post No Ills Magazine * Post No Ills Magazine *
"The first sound of what will be a remarkable noise in African poetry. Safia Elhillo has already laid out in this collection a complex foundation for a rich and complex body of work. What is unmistakable is her authority as a poet-she writes with great control and economy, but also with a vulnerability that is deeply engaging. Above all, her poems are filled with delight-a quality of humor that is never trite but always honest and insightful."-from the foreword by Kwame Dawes -- Kwame Dawes

About Safia Elhillo


Safia Elhillo is a Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. She is the author of The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Kwame Dawes
Acknowledgments
asmarani makes prayer
vocabulary
Sudan Today. Nairobi: University of Africa, 1971. Print.
to make use of water
[did our mothers invent loneliness or . . . ]
while being escorted from the abdelhalim hafez concert
application for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
abdelhalim hafez asks for references
talking with an accent about home
origin stories
a brief history of silence
the last time marvin gaye was heard in the sudan
first interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
the lovers
talking with an accent about home
first adornment
callback interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
bride price
old wives' tales
date night with abdelhalim hafez
first quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
self-portrait with dirty hair
watching arab idol with abdelhalim hafez
self-portrait with the question of race
second date
abdelhalim hafez wants to see other people
red moon night
self-portrait with yellow dress
others
alternate ending
[& what is a country but the drawing . . . .]
late-night phone call with abdelhalim hafez
republic of the sudan / ministry of interior / passport & immigration general directorate / alien from sudanese origin passcard
talking with an accent about home
talking with an accent about home (second take)
second quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
portrait with asylum
talking to boys about abdelhalim hafez at parties
biopic containing lies about abdelhalim hafez
asmarani does psychogeography
why abdelhalim
self-portrait with lake nasser
abdelhalim hafez asks who the sudanese are
the part i keep forgetting
talking with an accent about home (reprise)
third quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
final interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
self-portrait as abdelhalim hafez's girl
portrait with abdelhalim hafez with the question of race
lovers' quarrel with abdelhalim hafez
portrait of abdelhalim hafez as orpheus
glossary
everything i know about abdelhalim hafez
notes

Additional information

GOR011103344
The January Children by Safia Elhillo
Safia Elhillo
African Poetry Book
Used - Like New
Paperback
University of Nebraska Press
2017-03-01
90
0803295987
9780803295988
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins.