KAPIL, Bhanu
Incubation: a space for monsters

This book is for all the monsters. This book is for anyone who did not discover, until it was almost too late, that they were beautiful in the eyes of strangers. This book is for anyone who came upon their origin story in a book of fairy tales in a public library. This book is for anyone who burns to write but does not. This book is for anyone whose idea of a good time resembles a vector, but also a kite. Imagine the blue sky and the cut glass of the kite’s string, glinting at dusk. You’re on the rooftop. This is childhood. This book is for anyone who, in the middle of their childhood, had the sudden thought: ‘I’m no longer a child. This book is for anyone who left their birthplace, for reasons they could not control at the time. Or reverse. This book is for anyone who made home, in the end, out of what it was: a glimpse of the horizon four times a year. This book is for anyone for whom this horizon is dreamed or recollected, a hot green line embedded in the art they make, something a reader or observer would not notice or perceive unless, like the artist, they repeated their walk through the space in which the art was presented, or made.

Originally published in America in 2006 by Leon Works, and out of print for the last seven years, Incubation: a space for monsters is a formally innovative, hybrid-genre book that incorporates poetry and prose. Set in a shifting narrative environment, where human bodies, characters, and text are neither one thing nor another, this fragmentary-diaristic text journeys through the spaces in-between.

Following protagonist Laloo – Cyborg, girl, mother, child, immigrant, settler – on a roadtrip through American landscapes, genre styles, and form, Incubation creates radical space for what is ‘monstrous’. Appropriating iconic American tropes, and the structure of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Incubation explores the challenges faced by immigrants in attaining such notions of freedom in so hostile an environment. In this fragmentary document there is a celebration in the cobbling together of lives; global in scope, with an intimate focus on interior voice, this landmark text evidences the early innovations and talents of this T.S. Eliot prizewinning author. [publishers’ note]

Published by prototype, 2023

Price: 17€

KAPIL, Bhanu - Incubation: a space for monsters