In Sensorium: Notes for My People

In Sensorium: Notes for My People

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Fragrance has long been used to mark who is civilized and who is barbaric, who is pure and who is polluted, who is free and who is damned--

Focusing their gaze on our most primordial sense, writer and perfumer Tanaïs weaves a brilliant and expansive memoir, a reckoning that offers a critical, alternate history of South Asia from an American Bangladeshi Muslim femme perspective. From stories of their childhood in the South, Midwest, and New York; to transcendent experiences with lovers, psychedelics, and fragrances; to trips home to their motherland, Tanaïs builds a universe of memories and scent: a sensorium. Alongside their personal history, and at the very heart of this work, is an interrogation of the ancient violence of caste, rape culture, patriarchy, war, and the inherited ancestral trauma of being from a lush land constantly denuded, a land still threatened and disappearing because of colonization, capitalism, and climate change.

Structured like a perfume--moving from base to heart to head notes--IN SENSORIUM interlaces eons of South Asian perfume history, erotic and religious texts, survivor testimonies, and material culture with memoir. In Sensorium is archive and art, illuminating the great crises of our time with the language of Liberation.



Author: Tanaïs
Publisher: Harper
Published: 02/22/2022
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.90lbs
Size: 8.40h x 5.80w x 1.50d
ISBN: 9780358381709

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 11/15/2021
Kirkus Reviews 12/15/2021

About the Author
TANAÏS is a perfumer and author of In Sensorium, which will be published in 2022, and the critically acclaimed novel Bright Lines, which was a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, and the Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize. They are the recipient of residencies at MacDowell, Tin House, and Djerassi. Their fragrance, beauty and design studio TANAÏS is based in New York City. Follow them on Instagram at @studiotanais