One afternoon, in an old house in an abandoned village on the outskirts of Perimeter, in the place they call Pacifica, Bramah and the beggar boy find fragments of an ancient text in an oak box. Hunched over scraps of parchment and broken computer disks, they blow the dust off a cover, and so our story begins.
Steeped in the tradition of fairy tales, The Heart of This Journey Bears All Patterns (THOT J BAP) features a world in which a small band of resisters and survivors meet heartbreak and destruction with rhymes and resourceful skills such as soap and glass making, and a belief in the supernatural. Many things happen—some good, but most bad—including five eco-catastrophes and a viral bio-contagion. Shapeshifting in and out of it all is the nimble Bramah, a female locksmith, part human, part goddess—brown, brave and beautiful. Ten years in the making and described as “truly ambitious” by Stephen Collis, this work by award-winning poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar spans continents and centuries. Bramah and the Beggar Boy is the first instalment of the multi-part series.
Like James Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover, or Dionne Brand's The Blue Clerk, Renee Sarojini Saklikar's Bramah and the Beggar Boy is intellectually, geographically, and temporally wide-ranging: ambitious, and epic in scope. This is a poet's generous and attenuated invitation to her readers to join her in a life-long project of unlocking and unbinding, of challenging the primacy of borders, the formal, the political and the self-imposed. Her themes are serious and sweeping but she also accommodates, as do all the best subversives, moments of wry humour, and the scandalous thrills of gossip. Bramah and the Beggar Boy is a journey of rare and rewarding discovery. The portal is deep. The portal is open. Take a deep breath. Jump.