Colin Lodewick

Continuing a body

A review of Bhanu Kapil's 'entre-Ban'

Bhanu Kapil (right) with Lucas de Lima at Kelly Writers House, September 27, 2016. Photo by Writers House staff.

What is Ban?” The poet imagines an answer, asserting (among other things) that Ban “is a warp of smoke.”

Bhanu Kapil’s 2015 book Ban en Banlieue is a novel of meandering lists. The second (and largest) section of the book, titled “Auto-sacrifice (Notes),” is one such list, and it includes other lists within itself. The notes are less notes than collapsed vignettes offering insight into historical trauma and the creative process of articulating harm both physical and emotional. The notes work together to create a ragged narrative, one that seems contingent on a certain character — “Ban” — but also independent in itself.

Syndicate content