PBS Recommendation Summer 2021
In her debut collection, Denise Saul explores family and identity as she tells the story of a mother’s illness and subsequent aphasia, and a daughter's ongoing role as carer. At the heart of their relationship is an awareness of the inadequacies of language to name painful experiences as together they start to know the world afresh.
Deeply affecting, the book finds a space for both the extraordinary and the ordinary, balancing all that is between. Such betweenness creates a space to explore wider dynamics of power, and the epiphanies and aftershocks of ongoing loss.
'With the intent gaze and bold grace of the lover and mystic, Denise Saul reveals the beauty and bravery inherent in the humblest everyday objects and actions. These vital poems address a fundamental enigma of human experience – how words bring order to the chaos of the cosmos, and the surreal shapes and unfathomable lacunas the world assumes when language goes into hiding. The Room Between Us is a devastating debut collection and a profound lesson in the subtle art of listening.'
'Denise Saul’s book The Room Between Us is an in depth examination of different forms of care; care for the unwell and also self care. All told with an underlying relationship to mortality and all its reflection, rumination, regret, and fevered dream in the cared for, as well as in the carer. A commanding book on illness, survival and life that speaks directly to the current times we all now live in.'
'An achingly tender debut, a rare gem of a book. Each of these lines contains essential grains helping us to deepen our understanding and teach us so much about complicated love.'
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