Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods is Tishani Doshi's third book of poems, following two earlier, highly praised collections, Everything Belongs Elsewhere, published by Bloodaxe in 2012, and her debut, Countries of the Body, winner of the Forward Prize for best first collection. In Girls are Coming out of the Woods, Tishani Doshi combines artistic elegance with a visceral power to create a breathtaking panorama of danger, memory, beauty and the strange geographies of happiness. This is essential, immediate, urgent work and Doshi is that rare thing, an unashamed visionary who knows that, "while you and I go on with life / remembering and forgetting, / the poets remain: singing, singing".' – John Burnside. 'I admire these poems because they are masterly formal inventions. But I return to them, again and again, for the elegy and the urgency and the prophecy. I want to give this book to the people I love, and say to them, memorize this, never forget.' – Jeet Thayil. 'These are powerful haunting poems about rain, death, poetry and love, with the sea pounding unrelentingly in the background. Whether it is about discovering one’s first white hairs or an ode to Patrick Swayze, about seeking ways to surrender "sun-scarred lives" to the tidal dark or to welcome "orphaned slippers, Styrofoam, fossil of crab" washed up by the insomniac ocean, these poems welcome the wildly assorted flotsam of daily detail and transmute them into the greater strangeness of poetry. Elegiac and fevered, Tishani Doshi’s poems search for ways to make their peace with tide and temporality, with fragility and violence, even as they celebrate that there is really "no end to unknowing".' – Arundhathi Subramaniam.
In her third collection, Indian writer and dancer Doshi (The Adulterous Citizen) takes a simultaneously lyrical and documentary approach to violence against women. The title poem gestures towards the brutality women have experienced while advocating for the ego-strength and bravery to bear witness and testify against this violence on behalf of victims who may not be able to speak: "Girls/ are coming out of the woods/ with panties tied around their lips,/ making such a noise, it's impossible/ to hear." The core of the collection centers women "even though they have no names and some of them/ have satin strips instead of faces, they all have stories/ which go on and on." Among the multiple questions posed by the book, two stand out: "what of ruined flesh?" and "Do you feel destroyed,/ girl?" Doshi leads a serious interrogation, but her work isn't without playfulness and sarcasm, and she takes pleasure in such simple turns as describing landscapes or weather: "The washing's on the line./ There are pillows in the grass./ All the weeds we pulled up yesterday/ lie in clotted heaps, dying slowly." Doshi's searing imagery and high lyrics are bound to take readers' breath in equal measure.