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Desilicious: Sexy. Subversive. South Asian. Paperback – Oct 1 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (Oct. 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551521547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551521541
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,696,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Another collection from the edge, this compilation takes us well beyond the romantic stereotypes of Bollywood or the souped-up sex of the Kama Sutra to explore the erotic lives of South Asians...
-Globe and Mail (Globe & Mail)

...the poems and stories in Desilicious share the quality of challenging colonial stereotypes of South Asian sexuality. ...a fine anthology.
-Bookmarks (Richard Labonte Bookmarks)

Stimulating both mind and body is not an easy job, and Desilicious does it effortlessly.
-Nexus Magazine (Nexus Magazine)

It's a daringly delirious plunge into forbidden territory! (

About the Author

Deborah Barretto, Gurbir Singh Jolly, and Zenia B. Wadhwani are the founders of The Masala Trois Collective, a group that aims to confront stereotypes about South Asian sexuality, challenge taboos and test boundaries, and turn readers on. They live in Toronto.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A very rocky ride. Jan. 12 2005
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Masala Trois Collective (eds.), Desilicious (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2003)

I will say right now that it's possible my reaction to this book has something to do with the fact that it was marketed to me as a straight poetry anthology, leading me to almost immediate disappointment. I could have handled, even, a mostly-poetry anthology with some prose thrown in for good measure. Instead, it's the opposite. Quite a letdown.

Not that the short stories are bad, all of them. As is to be expected with any anthology, especially one with such a narrow focus as this (South Asian writers exploring sexual themes), there's a wide range of craft and artistic ability here, and that keeps the stories interesting, in its own odd way. However, ironically, also because of the exceptionally narrow focus, the stories quickly develop a sameness to them. Heterosexual, homosexual, male, female, one of the things you'll take away from the prose pieces in this book is that sexual awakening is, well, sexual awakening. As profoundly individual as it seems to each person, well, we tend to draw the same conclusions.

The poetry here is surprising-- for the most part because some of it is so very exceptional. A few of the poets in this anthology should have published single-poet collections with major presses long ago. The opening poet, Shompaballi Datta, is someone you need to know, because this woman is going places. Which makes it all the more depressing to come upon something like Salacious Sister's "Snake Poem," which should be taught in schools as an example of how not to write poetry:

"Colorful Goddess images on the wall

Inspire her to delve and deepen."

My heart bleeds for a generation that would call such a juxtaposition of vague, unpoetic words "poetry."

There is some good stuff here, but pick it up only if you feel like wading through a lot of swine to get to the pearls. **
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bold Writings Nov. 1 2004
By S. Datta-Kimball - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Desilicious" shows that despite the threat of excommunication, the tabooed subject of sexualities can be presented and debated in the South Asian community. Appreciation of such matters can be felt especially when one has been restricted because of opposition, especially due to a monolithic idea of moralistic identity. Day-to-day narratives also contain issues that a reader must have the discertion to appreciate. Good things do not come in blatant ways; noticing them in the ordinary show a critical eye.