The Trouble with Humpadori

by Vidhu Aggarwal


Poetry | ₹350/$19.99
Paperback, 120 Pages, 8.5 x 8.5 in
Publication Date: January 2016

The Trouble with Humpadori is a Rabelaisian journey of epic (dis)proportions. Introducing the world to the unforgettable Humpadori—an ontological riddle wrapped in a historical enigma, or vice versa—Aggarwal’s dazzling collection imagines a new kind of poetic subject who embodies the vexing complexities of identity in Anglophone Indian verse.  Traveling a literary landscape of mock-interviews, pseudo-manifestos, concrete poetry, and Bollywood marquees, our hapless protagonist discovers that modern India—and our ancient planet—offers little cover for the endlessly unraveling self. Throughout, the comedy and tragedy of identity alike are illuminated by the spotlight of universal longing.  “I’d say we’re pretty much all Humpadori,” says Humpadori. For reasons beyond me, I whole-heartedly agree.”
Srikanth Reddy, Facts for Visitors, Voyager, and Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry

The Trouble with Humpadori is an inter-intra-cultural post post-colonial (& then some) deranged wikidickiepsychopedia tilt-a-whirl carnival screw-ride of creation-decreation myths, unreliable facts, improbable gossip, discoball narratives, pop (& lock) fairy tales & chainsaw allegories, all in some futuristic language not unlike our own.”
Justin Chin, Gutted, 98 Wounds, and Mongrel: Essays, Diatribes, + Pranks

“Vidhu Aggarwal is a poet of the pineal gland. She transmits-emits like a unicorn technology in the form of an author. Brilliant and wild, she writes. Then writes again.”
Bhanu Kapil, Ban en Banlieue, Humanimal, and Vertical Interrogation of Strangers

“Through The Trouble with Humpadori, Vidhu Aggarwal plumps the “Nub” of Mackey’s Splay Anthem to a frothy mound of postcolonialism, dark wit, and gender crit. History is a symptom here and the hump is a sty in gazes, a site to see and misread in this exhilarating collection’s minstrel show sequences, soundtrack playbacks, love notes, and wild spectacles. Poem by poem, form and deformity get addled and ogled—the HUMP makes a body crook, bedecks it with cleavage, leaves speakers “stuffed with lumpiness/. . . bumsome to the nth” but also busting into enflowered sprawls. What a debut! Don’t get over the HUMP, get into it.”
Douglas Kearney, The Black Automaton and Patter

“In The Trouble with Humpadori, Vidhu Aggarwal goes all “boogie woogie” with the politics of imperialism and racism, wedding abjection and postcolonialism, exuberance and shame. This book explores the accent, the smear and the mangling of language–the “violence of exchange”–while giving us some of the most  “debased kerfuckle” around.”
Johannes Göransson, The Sugar Book, Haute Surveillance, co-editor of Action Books

“In The Trouble with Humpadori we find a bejeweled and day-glo world in which the figure of Humpadori—human and non-human—performs, taunts, seduces, and critiques with all sorts of ‘unfurling action. Here language pulses with vital sounds and inventive word incarnations. Downright serious Vidhu Aggarwal creates contemporary spectacles with shades of myths and dystopias. A fantastically original book!”
Molly Bendall, Under the Quick, After Estrangement, Dark Summer, and Ariadne’s Island

The Trouble with Humpadori is a speculative work of lyric poetry by Vidhu Aggarwal that follows the progress of Hump (a.k.a. Humpadori, Hum, Om) — an abject, racialized, monstrous, performing entity that morphs across genders and commodity forms. Structured as a set of slapstick theatrical acts borrowing from American burlesque and minstrel traditions, the work moves from lyric intimacy to predatory rage, examining the “textures” of feeling available to marginalized bodies in a globalized world. Hump navigates spaces as a phenomenal body fractured by fairy tales, tantric symbols, Bollywood paraphernalia, international icons, and military technologies.  It is the winner of an Editor’s Choice Award, chosen from among 100 manuscripts submitted to The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective in 2015.

SKU: 978-0986065287 Category:


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