*I received a free copy of this novella with thanks to the author and Jake Lynn at The Lazy Writer’s Friend. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: In the midst of an existential crisis, poet and author, Sen Rajah stumbles blindly and emotionally empty into the world of Milk of the Moon. At a point when he has almost entirely lost any sense of self, this bright, young, tragic girl whispers her stories to him, weaving a tale as melodious as it is sad. Through her visits and comfort Rajah finds his way back, unfortunately by the time he recovers Milk is gone, leaving behind only fragments of her story.
The exhibition contained within these pages is part memoir, part poetry and part something entirely new. It explores themes of otherness and rootlessness, the colonialism of language and many more themes associated with being “a person without a country”. Each piece resonates with feeling, abstract and allusive, they beckon you to engage, not just to observe, but immerse yourself and read the artist, for as Milk of the Moon says, “only in the act of interpretation do any of us exist”.
Milk of the Moon is an unusual novella. It is prose poetry. Word exploration of how we are moulded and shaped by the world and by others; by our own thoughts, feelings and experiences.
There is no linear narrative, although the reader can get a sense of a life of exploitation, manipulation, deprivation. There is a strong theme of displacement and a sense of the isolation of being different amongst those who are the same.
This is a stream of consciousness, similar to Under Milk Wood or to the middle section of Beloved. Word play that resembles an E. E. Cummings poem on the page, with the flow of thought and impression captured directly without interface with structure or the ‘rules’ of language.
Milk, as a character, is nebulous and fleeting. She is a mass of experiences, thoughts and feelings; formless and undefined and yet ever questioning and seeking clarity, understanding; who am I? what is ‘I’?
This novella is not for anyone who likes a clear plot, characters, structured story. You fall into this writing like immersion in a body-temperature river of words and sounds, and are simply carried along by the currents of thoughts that swirl around the concepts of personhood and being.
You don’t read Milk of the Moon so much as you experience it viscerally. Recommended for introspective and receptive readers.
strip away everything and what do you have?
absences can’t exist by themselves,
what’s emptiness but an absence in disguise?
what’s left then?
what remains when all else has gone?
– Sen Rajah, Milk of the Moon
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Milk of the Moon is available on Amazon right now!