The 24-year-old poet, whose self-published first collection “Milk and Honey” became a surprise hit — and New York Times bestseller — is back with her second book of poems, “The Sun and Her Flowers.”
The career-making reaches of Instagram are not limited to budding models, artists and musicians; 24-year-old poet Rupi Kaur is a New York Times best-selling author for her anthology of poetry and illustrations “Milk and Honey,” which she self-published in 2014 on the topics of love, loss, feminine identity and healing.
After taking a year off from writing to settle into herself with the surprise success of “Milk and Honey” — for which she built a following on Instagram — Kaur is back with “The Sun and Her Flowers,” out on October 3.
“I wrote [‘Milk and Honey’] for myself. It ended up coming out when it did and being self-published because I was going through certain things that I just needed to put all my energy into to distract myself, right?” Kaur says over the phone from Toronto, where she is based. “I was so wrapped up in that and then that thing that I did to just really help heal myself all of a sudden becomes this global sensation. And then you’re like, ‘oh damn it’ — it’s a blessing and you’re so grateful but you’re also not prepared for it at all.”
“Milk and Honey” has now sold over two million copies and has accumulated an international reach. “I just found out I’m the number-one author in Brazil,” Kaur says. “What? That’s so random.”
Kaur knew she would call the second book “The Sun and Her Flowers” back in 2014, but the writing of it became challenging once her name took off. “The year I took off was that moment when life really changed a lot,” she says. “I graduated and ‘Milk and Honey’ came out worldwide in the same month, and then I took off to India for three months because I’m very, very eager and I never allow myself to feel proud of the things that I’ve done; I’m always looking forward and trying to accomplish more. I was like, ‘I’m going to go to India and write a book and it’ll be fantastic because that’s what people do when they go to India, they write a book.’ And I had just watched ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’”
Her trip to the country of her birth ended up being more of a family reunion, and she wouldn’t get to be serious about writing until several months later, when she decamped to California for three months.