Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Cure a Ghost” as Want to Read:
How to Cure a Ghost
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Cure a Ghost

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A poetry compilation recounting a womans journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance, confusion to clarity, and bitterness to forgiveness
Following in the footsteps of such category killers as Milk and Honey and Whiskey Words & a Shovel I, Fariha Róisíns poetry book is a collection of her thoughts as a young, queer, Muslim femme navigating the difficulties of her
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Cure a Ghost, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Cure a Ghost

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  323 ratings  ·  46 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Cure a Ghost
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5⭐, rounded up to 4.I dont read a lot of poetry & am therefore not comfortable writing an in depth review. But whats important is I enjoyed this work! Fariha Róisín uses her poems as a way to speak about what its like to navigate the terrain of colonialism in a brown, queer, Muslim body. I learned new things & I found moments that resonated with me. I recommend for fans of Fatimah Asghars If They Come For Us. ...more
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think 'loss becomes her' is a standout poem in this collection. I appreciated Róisín's earnest exploration of themes like inter-generational trauma and reconnecting with Islam as a queer Muslim woman, but most of the writing felt cringe-worthy to me.
Asia J
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5* stars. this book ripped my heart out of my body, put it in my hands, and said okay now do something about it. in the best possible way. ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
beautiful illustrations... the poetry though.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book represents all the tumblr poetry cliches of 2019:

Yes This White Person Really Said This Thing To Me

this time dad, you're wrong

I Don't Give A Fuck About What White People Say To Me

somehow misogynistic dual idolization/tear down of your mother

trauma fetishization

Referring to all women as femmes

assuming mantel of ancestral struggle that has nothing to do with you

sexual mangoes

Beautiful illustrations throughout!
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2019
There's some really beautiful poetry in here. A lot of it hit me really hardFariha Roisin is not afraid to pack a punch, but there are also some really beautiful poems about self-love and empowerment.

Also thank you to the person who reviewed this and mentioned 'sexual mangoes' as a poetry cliche. This is how I will judge all poetry collections from now.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
This collection just didn't do it for me. Though some of them I did find moving and poignant, those few did not make up for most of the collection.
I really enjoyed this - there were so many lines that made me laugh, and too many that I related to. Roisin is so honest and it really made me stop and reflect. She surprised me and I think that's one of the best things you can probably do, especially as a debut author. This kind of reminded me of Milk and Honey, but with more depth that I was looking for when I first read Kaur's work. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Roisin.
Fida Islaih
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
These poems are about experiences as an immigrant and Muslim. They were heartbreaking, beautiful and empowering. Some pieces made me feel seen. Many more told much needed stories that people need to know. Other reviews said it better: it packed a punch and asked me to hold my heart.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book validated all the feelings of self-loathing ive felt but also slapped me in the face with shouts to make changes in a good way for myself and myself alone. ...more
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
Kendall Jenner was spotted reading this book.

Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
To be completely honest, so far I find myself finding bits and pieces of her works that are really nice; complimentary in a way. Though, I feel like they drag on too long?? Majority of her works are completely killed by unnecessary cringe worthy instagram lines. I truly felt as if it fell short of what it was promised to be.
Lucie Webb
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up when searching for some contemporary poetry in B&N on a whim. The title and cover art drew me in, and I'm glad I found it.

Wonderfully written and at times heartbreaking poems on love, heritage, relationships, abuse, and war. Roísín documents her journey to overcoming lessons of self-hate and the aspects of her intersectionality.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Felt like this needed to be personal essays more than poetry.
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Its so hard to appraise poetry especially poetry that is so personal but Im giving this 3 stars because although I sometimes enjoyed this book and really want to see more from this author, I struggled with the way in which she seized upon clichéd millennial vernacular and cultural insights, adding a sometimes inauthentic feeling to what was otherwise a really vulnerable collection. For example:

the forever too sensitive,
as if insensitive is #goals.

Or the poem mansplain nation, which I felt
Dusti Falgoust
I think poetry is really hard to rate and maybe shouldnt be rated. Its too much tied to the authors emotions and feelings and it almost feels like rating how they express themselves. So therefore I will rate this book solidly in the middle. There were poems I really loved and stood out to me like Mothers, Two of Swords, and Loss Becomes Her. But there were just things in here that I dont like in poetry so I cant say I absolutely loved it or anything. But I can definitely feel the authors ...more
Dana Elizabeth
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
First off, I am not the intended recipient of this collection. While I still found poems and moments I could relate to, this is about the experience of a brown, Muslim woman. My own experience does not match that, which didnt make the collection unenjoyable for me, but I was also aware throughout that it would probably hit a lot closer to home for other brown, Muslim women.

There were some poems I really enjoyed, and the illustrations and generally layout of the book were a beautiful touch - they
Indigo Ryder
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall I really enjoyed this work, the vulnerability it took for Fariha to write these poems was physically present with me as I read the book. I do agree with other reviews that every so often catchy phrases/cliches would throw me off the tracks of my previously more tranquil head space but I do not see these writing choices as having ruined the poems for me overall. Many of these poems came from deep places within the authors history and that is what is special about this collection, the ...more
Ruby Wormy
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I dont know what it is about it but this selection just spoke to me. It has some poems that feel intimate and special, like they were made for me, and thats what I like about it. It sounds kind of selfish but I like that someone who isnt Muslim, queer, or a POC wont get what some poems mean. And I think thats really important because as a young person who identifies with Roísin, it feels good to be seen. So thank you for writing this selection of things our community needed to read. ...more
Colton Newman
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly I hate poetry, I think its overrated and most modern day poetry is just internet garbage written by people who want to be edgier than they are writing for people who swallow up muck like Milk and Honey.

That being said, How to Cure a Ghost is amazing! Although considered poetry this reads more like a memoir by someone with something worth saying!

Ill spoil nothing, just read this fantastic book!
Jessica Pritiken
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I found myself crying through much of these poems, so often covering the subjects of racism, mental health, immigrant experiences, and the challenge of self-love. I also really enjoyed her perspective of faith as a muslim woman. Overall, a great, although quite emotionally heavy, selection of poetry.
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Please, if you buy the book, get a physical copy. The illustrations and the binding are beautiful.

Im so glad that I bought this (thank-you NoName for putting it on your book club list). There were so many poems that I just felt in my core as I read the words, and I know I will be coming back to this collection again.
Ai Miller
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This wasn't super my jam, but I did find the forwardness of Róisín's poems to be somewhat refreshing. Róisín works heavily in the abstract which is maybe why I struggled with some of these, but I think it's still definitely worth picking up and reading, even if just to establish that you have a sense of taste in poetry (which is what I discovered reading this!)
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
[3.5 stars]
It's good, don't be mistaken. It's good and it's important. Some of the representation we need. It's caring and it's harsh.
But I didn't think I'd enjoy it, then I reallly did. I guess it's not really my style, sometimes a little cheesy, but there are hidden gems in there so I'd still recommend you read it carefully.
It's important to take time for this one.
Esmé Rodehaver
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, lgbt
"so, i say:
this one's for me, old friend
this one's on me, old mate.
we can do this together, sweet homie.
i got you."

So much tenderness and rage in this collection. There were a few poems that really resonated with me, and the illustrations are gorgeous!
Marie-Christine Lemieux-Couture
Beautiful object, from cover to back, it takes you through trauma and grief, hate and self-hate, on a journey to self-acceptation. Monica Ramos' illustrations gorgeously uphold Roisin's already vibrant poetry.
Jaymee Gray
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned

better still,
i am open
to opening // to belonging
to myself.

High points are impactful, and there were many. The illustrations beautifully maintain and complement the mood created by Róisíns writing, culminating into a beautiful piece of work to hold. Overall lovely!
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this because of the subject matter, but the writing style was just not my jam. Some bits here and there stood out but most of the time I was clawing through what felt like unnecessarily forced and never ending metaphors that made it difficult to connect.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
for what could be more magical than to weep in exchange for a mother? a beautiful and small collection of poems for survivors of family trauma, for brown girls, for those who are learning to love themselves, for those who thank god for it all. ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not impressed

Maybe its because Ive had a lot of privilege, I did not enjoy this book at all. I did not like the writing style, the way the words were used. It did not resonate with me and I had a hard time getting through the book.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It
  • Homie
  • The Magical Language of Others
  • Life of the Party
  • The Summer of Dead Birds
  • Don't Call Us Dead
  • Felon: Poems
  • Odes to Lithium
  • Magical Negro
  • Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice
  • Sabrina & Corina: Stories
  • Falling Toward the Moon
  • Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac
  • Soft Science
  • In the Dream House
  • A Fortune for Your Disaster
  • Imaginary Museums
  • Not One of These Poems Is About You
See similar books…

Related Articles

The hotly anticipated sequel to 'Carry On' is finally here.
341 likes · 46 comments
“The greatest scam is colonization. The greatest scam is us believing that you’re better than us, when you stole all that we were and sold it back, convincing us of our inferiority, spitting on our graves.” 0 likes
“we are volcanoes. we declare ourselves. we are the solstice, the new moon. we are not silent, brown girl. i hear you but i don’t weep.” 0 likes
More quotes…