Rupi Kaur’s debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey (2014), sold a cool 3 million copies. Her second, The Sun and Her Flowers (2017), saw her named one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2017. The Economist raved, “Rupi Kaur reinvents poetry…[she] is undeniably equipped with the poet’s ability to articulate emotions that readers struggle to make sense of.” And in 2019, The New Republic named Kaur “Writer of the Decade.”
Her poems are about women (“i want to apologize to all the women/i have called pretty/before i’ve called them intelligent or brave”), relationships, loving, loss, what it’s like to be an immigrant, and much more. Her third book, Home Body, is publishing to more rave reviews.
With Home Body poised to become the favorite book of 2020 for so many, we wondered what Rupi Kaur’s own favorite reads of the year were. Read ahead to see what she recommends.
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
This is an essential text for me as feminist, poet, and performer. It is three of my worlds wrapped into one book. Poetry meets theatre in these monologues about vaginas that offer different perspectives from different corners of the world. I found myself crying. I found myself grieving at the pain and what we have done historically, and presently, to bodies.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
I recommend this book to all creatives. When I was struggling to write after publishing my first book, this book lifted me out of a very dark place. I would say that Elizabeth is somewhat of an expert on creativity, and that's what this book is about. How ideas are born. How they travel. How creativity works, and how we work with it.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
This was one of the very first books I read by a South Asian author. One of the very first books I read about the brown immigrant experience. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Rarely, when I was growing up, could I read a book about people who look and talk like me. This book was a gift and remains one for many of us. Jhumpa has the ability to get inside your heart with her prose, and make you feel more at home, however uncomfortable that may be.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
My favorite book. This is the one I pack into every suitcase. I read it all the time. This is the first book I picked up with this virus shut down our world. The Prophet is a religious text for me. I read this book when things fall apart, and when things are going well. No matter the situation I'm in, it leaves me feeling more grounded.
See Rupi Kaur's favorite reads of 2020, including the book she turns to "when things fall apart, and when things are going well."