At Hajj

Amaan Hyder


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Penned in the Margins
1 June 2017
ISBN: 9781908058447

From the publisher

At Hajj is a book of yearning and of pulling away, of things handed down and newly made.Its central sequence plunges the reader into the heat and dust of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. For Amaan Hyder, the religious experience is a human one. These extraordinary, vivid prose poems capture the dreamlike journeys of unnamed pilgrims - from a woman lost in the crowd to an old man seeking refuge in the desert.Moving across forms and continents, At Hajj grapples with the weight of tradition. What must we inherit and what do we reject? Can a figure stand in two places at once? In poems of intense memory, Hyder charts a search for belonging through the everyday pleasures of food, family and friendship. A dragonfly. A midnight feast. An ill-fitting coat. Composed in a disarming lyric that almost seems to fragment at the touch, At Hajj introduces a distinctive, compassionate new voice in British poetry.