is a potently beautiful testimonial of feeling, touching, and breathing beyond the boundaries of empire, patriarchy, and the rule of law. It is a love story for all of us who not only live on the margins, but make magic there. With remarkable sensitivity and frankness, Tanaïs has given us an unforgettable, wise, and sumptuous story. This book will be with me for a very long time."
—Imani Perry, author of Breathe and South to America
"In Sensorium does to the senses, particularly smell, what Toni Cade Bambara did to sound. I have never come close to experiencing a book that reminds us to accept the calcified histories and fluid futures deeply packed in our senses. What an absolutely unique and momentous book! Tanaïs has made a book only they could write, and my body is so, so thankful. Stunning work."
—Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division and Heavy
"Lyrical, expansive, aching, and alive, In Sensorium
invites us to behold and be humbled, to boldly redraw the old maps, to not only recover what has been erased, but to wildly create what has never been and is forever possible. “I write to imagine freedom, even though I write in the language of power.” In this book, language is a portal and language is a world and language is a syncretic invention. Kaleidoscopic in scope, each page unfolds into a dazzling spiral as Tanaïs weaves personal histories into the history of Bangladesh and South Asia. These meditations on ancestral violence, war, the feminine divine, scent, erotic dreamscapes, rage, belonging, beauty, liberation and familial inheritances pulse with voluptuous longing. This work requires attention and deep devotion."
—Jenny Zhang, author of Sour Heart and My Baby First Birthday
"Novelist and perfumer Tanaïs blends in this beautiful work memoir, history, and notes on perfuming to interrogate love, violence, and generational healing. Throughout, rich imagery and language are married as Tanaïs moves through their ancestral trauma to discover a place of healing...Readers will find more than just their olfactory senses heightened by this beautiful meditation."