In Immune Systems Andy Jackson captures and interrogates the complexity of contemporary India with lyric beauty and an unflinching, yet tender, gaze. In the title suite of poems he explores 'medical tourism' a booming industry in India from the perspective of a Westerner undergoing surgery and recovery. Through various medical and social interactions, he experiences confusion, insight, anger, small epiphanies and the sheer humanity of other bodies. Political and economic problems inherent in the medical tourism inform the poetry, but the focus is always the human encounter. Similarly in a series of ghazals, Jackson reveals how the metaphysical is embodied in the everyday. The larger questions of love, death, body and spirit live in the seemingly ordinary, while the beautifully cadenced verse is grounded by an assured conversational tone. Immune Systems is a thought-provoking and poignant expansion of his poetic craft and themes. (Publication summary)
Yet anthropology, with its frequent experiences of
incomprehension, miscommunication, and raw frustration
also offers rare opportunities to detach from deeply
ingrained ways of knowing.
–Jean M. Langford
Fluent Bodies: Ayurvedic Remedies for Postcolonial Imbalance, 2002