In Immune Systems Andy Jackson captures and interrogates the complexity of contemporary India with lyric beauty and an unflinching, yet tender, gaze. In the title suite of poems he explores ‘medical tourism’ , a booming industry in India , from the perspective of a Westerner undergoing surgery and recovery. Through various medical and social interactions, he experiences confusion, insight, anger, small epiphanies and the sheer humanity of other bodies. Political and economic problems inherent in the medical tourism inform the poetry, but the focus is always the human encounter.
Similarly in a series of ghazals, Jackson reveals how the metaphysical is embodied in the everyday. The larger questions of love, death, body and spirit live in the seemingly ordinary, while the beautifully cadenced verse is grounded by an assured conversational tone.
‘Andy Jackson writes exceptionally well about India. But, as though unsatisfied with merely writing about one of the world’s most wonderfully complex social scenes, Jackson is drawn to the country’s medical system. This focus perfectly suits Jackson’s terrific poetic gift for fusing the clinical with the affective. The poems in Immune Systems are succinct and absolutely engaging expressions of a humanity caught between the demands of the body and the vagrancy of the mind.’ Ali Alizadeh, author of Ashes in the Air and Transactions
Immune Systems is a thought-provoking and poignant expansion of his poetic craft and themes.
‘Andy Jackson has made a most delicately probing poetry out of the detritus of urban India. This is a humane and moving book.’ Anjum Hasan, author of Street on the Hill and Difficult Pleasures