Book: When You Ask Me Where I’m Going
Author: Jasmin Kaur
Genre: Poetry/short story
Who should read this book: Everyone, especially women, anyone who has ever felt bullied, or out of step, activists, but really everyone.
First I want to thank HarperCollins Canada and HCC Frenzy for inviting me to Jasmin’s book reading in August. It was in Toronto and I had the pleasure of meeting Jasmin and hearing her read some of the poems from her debut book. It released on October 1. She had me tearing up. This poetry is powerful. She has a grace about her, a strength, like an aura of will. She had a fierce presence but in a beautiful way. Like she is the woman that has suffered but has taken that and made herself bigger instead of smaller. I honestly hope I get to meet her again one day.
I read this anthology in a day, the poems are mostly less than one page but they pack a punch. I annotated so many pages in this book and I want all of you to read it. But I’m going to share two of my favourites from the book. I’ve taken a photo and shared it and I hope that’s okay with Jasmin but there are illustrations on the one.
The book is mostly poetry but there is also a short story weaved in about a young Sikh woman that must runaway from home, she flees to Canada and we learn about her immigrant experience. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil anything. But it is a good look at the way immigrants are treated unfairly in this country. It also has deep religious and feminist undertones. Many of the poems in the book relate to this story as well.
I’m not going to break down my rating system for this book because I already know it got a perfect score. This is a book I will refer back to when I’m sad, when I need to find strength somewhere. I will never not have this book on my shelf and it has inspired me to look into the poetry genre some more. I felt empowered when I finished this book and sad about the way people treat anyone different from them. I will learn from this book and I think everyone else can too.