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In Sensorium: Notes for My People

In Sensorium: Notes for My People

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By Tanaïs

From the critically acclaimed author of Bright Lines comes a brilliant and expansive collection of meditations on the complex history of South Asia through the lens of our most primordial sense: scent.

At once memoir and reckoning, In Sensorium interlaces memories of childhood in the South, Midwest and New York with a universe of memories and scent—a sensorium—while offering a critical, alternate history of South Asia from a Bangladeshi Muslim femme perspective. At the heart of this work is an interrogation of the ancient violence of caste, rape culture, patriarchy, war, and the inherited ancestral trauma of being from a verdant land constantly denuded and extracted, a land still threatened and disappearing because of colonization, capitalism, and climate change. In Sensorium examines how fragrance has been used to demarcate who is civilized and who is barbaric, who is pure and who is polluted, who is free and who is damned.
Weaving together eons of South Asian perfume history, erotic and religious texts, survivor testimonies, and material culture with Tanaïs’s personal history, In Sensorium is archive and art, illuminating the great crises of our time with the language of liberation.

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