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HarperCollins Presents Teething: A Story Told in Verse By Megha Rao

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NEW DELHI, Jan. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  A story told in verse, Teething begins when Kochu, a young boy in Kerala, is caught kissing the neighbor’s son. All hell breaks loose, ending in Kochu taking his own life.


Years after the scandal, after discovering his suicide note, his oldest sister, Achu, sets out to uncover the mysteries of their dysfunctional family by putting pieces of their past back together. Along the way, she discovers things she never noticed – their mother’s brokenness and obsession with the church, their father’s disturbing secrecy inside the bedroom, and, of course, their own individual traumas that stopped time altogether.

Soon, Achu realizes that none of them will ever truly grow up until they live their lives all over again, from the very beginning.

Praise for the book:

“Both fluent and complex, searing and plangent, the poems in Megha Rao’s Teething reveal a remarkable sensibility allied to a rare talent for the language. This is a stunning, moving collection. I look forward to many more!”

—Dr Shashi Tharoor

“If poetry is a metaphorical description of the mundane then Megha Rao is certainly not short of metaphors. These deeply-felt personal poems sometimes have the touch of a butterfly’s wings and sometimes hit the reader like a sledgehammer.”

—Naseeruddin Shah

“Megha Rao breaks new ground with her poetry, effortlessly spanning the intimate and the desolate, beedis and beef biriyani, confessions and love letters. This is a collection at once bold and quiet, a study in love and loss and the yearning for those secret gardens we have all lost.”

—Jerry Pinto

“The poems in Megha Rao’s Teething are jagged and sweet. They shift between survival and heartbreak, the street and the hearth. They wear pearls in the dark.”

—Tishani Doshi

“Devastatingly sharp, with few layers left unpeeled, each line in Megha Rao’s poetry holds up a mirror. There is the ugly, and there is the profound. There is the human, and there is something that lies beyond. Above all, there is honesty and strength of reflection, sending many a chill down the spine. And yet, every now and then, there is also a glow of memory and warmth; through every loss, also a fight to live on.”

—Manu S Pillai

Megha Rao says, “I see this book as a new childhood. Reclaiming my innocence and finding my way back to dreaming with wonder and curiosity. The characters in Teething’s universe are younger spirits of us, barefoot and giggling through the fields, healing trauma wounds with coconut oil and awkwardly stumbling into adolescence. Teething is about growing up. About mosquito bites and tapioca fields and sweet belly laughs. Ice golas and blue tongues. Citrus perfumes and lovers’ kisses. Glitter eyelids and muffled midnight sobs. Teething is about three kids from Kerala – Achu, Molu and Kochu – and the shimmering of compartmentalised memories fresh on their skin after a bath in the canal. Teething is about Mattancherry Biriyani and Kathakali affairs and the panic and glory of being alive. About loving life, despite the world.”

Author Bio:

Megha Rao is a poet and visual artist whose poetry podcast trended at #1 on Spotify India. Megha is a postgraduate in English literature from the University of Nottingham, UK, and is currently spending her time between Mumbai and Kerala.

About HarperCollins Publishers India:

HarperCollins Publishers India is a subsidiary of Harper Collins Publishers. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Prabha Khaitan Woman’s Voice Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India has been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award four times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016, 2018 and 2021. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Egmont, Oneworld, Harvard University Press, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet.

NEWS PROVIDED BY HarperCollins Publishers India