In The Lies We Tell, Mahendra Solanki returns to themes present in his previous volumes, Shadows of My Making (1986) and What You Leave Behind (1996), of family, belonging and the fragmented stories we tell about ourselves. It also contains commissioned work about places as well as poems ostensibly responding to a diverse range of paintings and sculpture (from the muted interiors and portraits of Vilhelm Hammershoi to the brightly contoured surfaces of Anish Kapoor) to revisit autobiographical histories.
On What You Leave Behind :
‘There is never fine writing for its own sake yet the compression achieved by those spare and simple adjectives is masterly. Not a word is wasted. This is poetry at its best – its refusal to comment or ornament, just allowing the words to do their work of conveying the emotions… a very fine poet committed to exploring the difficult places of the human heart and succeeding.’ — Jacqueline Brown