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Naag Mountain

112 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published April 2024
ISBN 9781925818994

Naag Mountain

Manisha Anjali

A remarkable debut collection by an Australian and New Zealand poet of Indo-Fijian background, the descendant of indentured labourers.

Naag Mountain is an imagined recovery of the little-known cultural inheritance of a displaced and exploited people. Historical figures, folk characters and spirits are entwined in a narrative poem coloured by the surrealism of dreams. A community whose ancestors from India were indentured by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, to labour on sugar plantations in Fiji, receives their dreams as messages from their friends across the Tasman. A mysterious reel of film washes ashore in Port Douglas, depicting harrowing violence under the indenture system. The historical actors walk out of the film and into the world of the living. The community walks into the projection. The naag, the thousand-mouthed snake, conjures a floating mountain, lined with flowering trees, mists and dreams.

Naag Mountain is an exquisite work that resounds with the reminder of what can be reclaimed when a community moves towards their awakening: their dreams, their futures. This is a distinguished debut collection from a poet whose vision is urgent and consuming.
Eunice Andrada

Epic in nature, rich in detailed imagery…Naag Mountain is an important and timely contribution to Pacific Literature by one of its emerging gifted storytellers. This is a portentous beginning.
Selina Tusitala Marsh

About the Author

Manisha Anjali

Manisha Anjali was born in Suva, Fiji. She spends her time between Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. She is the founder of Neptune, a research and documentation platform for dreams, visions and hallucinations.

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Author note: Manisha Anjali on Naag Mountain

‘I sought to recover the dignity, beauty and complexity of the girmityas, who otherwise only resided in the shadow of the archive and dissipating cultural memory. Living close to the sugar cane plantations on Minjungbal country, I came to understand history as a living, continuing phenomenon.’

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