Author: Cyrus Parker
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publishing Date: 7 May, 2019
No. of pages: 178
Non-binary poet Cyrus Parker
returns with an all-new collection of poetry and prose dedicated to those
struggling to find their own identity in a world that often forces one into the
confines of what’s considered “socially acceptable.”
Divided into three parts and illustrated by Parker, masquerade grapples with topics such as the never-ending search for acceptance, gender identity, and relationships, and the struggle to recognize your own face after hiding behind another for so long.
I received a review copy from the publishers in return for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I believe that including Poe’s lines in the very beginning is a brilliant stroke in itself. In hindsight, it really says a lot about the poetry the reader will be delving into as she flips the pages.
The poems deal with various topics such as abandonment, alcohol abuse, death, gender dysphoria, harassment, as well as intimate partner abuse, lost innocence, identity, chasing your dream, and the masks that people wear. Self-care also is explicitly stated by the poet to be practiced after reading the poems and it was real advice, because I did have to do it in the end. The reason behind this, I believe, is that the poems are so real and vivid and so reflective of our own lives that it is impossible for a reader not to find atleast a couple of poems with which she can absolutely relate. The poems are raw and poignant, and that furthers this cause. Moreover, the illustrations also provide a nice yet related break.
I enjoyed the poems and I rate this collection a 4/5 stars!
About the reviewer:
Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .