The Sun and Her Flowers
|Publisher||Andrews McMeel Publishing|
|October 3, 2017|
|Preceded by||Milk and Sour|
The Sun and Her Flowers (stylized as the sun and her flowers) is Rupi Kaur's second collection of poetry, published in 2017. It is composed of five chapters, with illustrations by the author.
The book is divided into five sections reflecting the life cycle of a flower, with chapters titled: Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, and Blooming. It focuses on themes of love and loss, trauma and abuse, healing, femininity and the body. Wilting touches on the subject of heartbreak and loss. Falling focuses on depressive feelings following the loss of an important relationship. Rooting explores topics of female infanticide, immigration and borders. Blooming addresses the joy Kaur finally found coming to love and accept her roots, herself, and the world around her. She also comes to realize her mission in this world: equality and love for all genders, races and backgrounds.
Publication and reception
After self-publishing her first novel, Milk and Honey, Kaur signed a two-book deal with Simon and Schuster. Due to Milk and Honey selling two million copies and being on The New York Times Best Sellers list for over a year, Kaur found it extremely difficult to start creating her second collection of poetry. She attempted to begin the new book's journey for months, but nothing she wrote satisfied her expectations. Kaur's goal throughout The Sun and Her Flowers ended up focusing on "the corrective experience" that occurs in unhealthy relationships. She expressed her love for the poems about death, mainly because death has been something she's been contemplating for quite a while. Discussing her first book Milk and Honey—a collection of poems that tackles tough themes such as rape, violence, alcoholism, trauma—Kaur described The Sun and Her Flowers as a grown-up version, that would be deeper and more emotional.
The Sun and Her Flowers was published on October 3, 2017. A week after the book was released, it ranked second on Amazon's best-seller list. Within the first two weeks of publication, it was featured in the top ten of the New York Times Best Sellers list.
The New York Times review starting with the cons by saying, "The underlying message of all this criticism is that Ms. Kaur's work isn't "real literature." The literary world doesn't have a great track record of embracing or even acknowledging artists like Ms. Kaur, who are different in some notable way, but who attract an enormous and fervent audience." Then it described the positive side: "Many fans told me they share her poems with friends via Instagram or screenshots sent as texts, as encouragement or as a way to let Ms. Kaur’s work speak for them."
The Guardian review quoted poems from Kaur's collection and explained how simplistic the language often is. It said, "Even if you like her, these little jabs at her plaintive voice are spot on: one of Kaur’s actual poems muses “If you are not enough for yourself/you will never be enough / for someone else” and, while that gained 175,000 likes on Instagram, it has the air of the slurred advice you might overhear at the back of a Wetherspoons." However it defended Kaur's concise, and somewhat condensed, poetry by saying, "But to read Kaur’s success as an omen of the death of poetry would be to unfairly dismiss writing that contains bravery, beauty, and wisdom. Frankly, the literary world is saturated with white male voices of dubious quality. Kaur’s poetry should be given the same freedom to be flawed."
The Sunday Times review described the book as "alluding repeatedly to the personal damage of growing up in a world of abusive men, while being full of determination to recover." It said, "So if you don't like Kaur, scroll on", also, "Kaur's style is artless and therefore sincere; its lack of workbench polish is the mark of immediacy."
- Miller, E. Ce. "Rupi Kaur Is Back With Another Dreamy, Empowering Collection of Poems And Drawings". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- Acosta, Avelina. "Book Review: The Sun and Her Flowers brings both heartache and happiness". UNF Spinnaker. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- "Monday, September 18, 2017: Maximum Shelf: the sun and her flowers". www.shelf-awareness.com. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- "Rupi Kaur Inks Two-Book Deal". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
- "How Rupi Kaur pushed through writer's block to create her second collection of poems". CBC Radio. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
- Ceron, Ella. "Rupi Kaur Talks "The Sun and Her Flowers" and How She Handles Social Media's Response to Her Work". Teen Vogue. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
- Walker, Rob (2017-05-27). "The young 'Instapoet' Rupi Kaur: from social media star to bestselling writer". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "The Sun and Her Flowers". publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Mzezewa, Tariro (2017-10-05). "Rupi Kaur Is Kicking Down the Doors of Publishing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "The New York Times Best Sellers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
- Khaira-Hanks, Priya (2017-10-04). "Rupi Kaur: the inevitable backlash against Instagram's favourite poet". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- Noel-Tod, Jeremy. "Book Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur". The Sunday Times. Retrieved October 15, 2017.