A young poet is killed by her lover, a politician, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Soon afterward, across India in Bombay, an idealistic journalist is hired by a movie director to write a Bollywood screenplay about the murdered poet. Research for the script takes the writer, Binod, back to Bihar, where he and his cousin Rabinder were raised. While the high-minded Binod struggles to turn the poet’s murder into a steamy tale about small towns, desire, and intrigue, Rabinder sits in a Bihari jail cell, having been arrested for distributing pornography through a cybercafé. Rabinder dreams of a career in Bollywood filmmaking, and, unlike his cousin, he is not burdened by ethical scruples. Nobody Does the Right Thing is the story of these two cousins and the ways that their lives unexpectedly intertwine. Set in the rural villages of Bihar and the metropolises of Bombay and Delhi, the novel is packed with telling details and anecdotes about life in contemporary India. At the same time, it is a fictional investigation into how narratives circulate and vie for supremacy through gossip, cinema, popular fiction, sensational journalism, and the global media.
To be a writer, Amitava Kumar says, is to be an observer. The twenty-six essays in Lunch with a Bigot are Kumar's observations of the world put into words. A mix of memoir, reportage, and criticism, the essays include encounters with writers Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, discussions on the craft of writing, and a portrait of the struggles of a Bollywood actor. The title essay is Kumar's account of his visit to a member of an ultra-right Hindu organization who put him on a hit-list. In these and other essays, Kumar tells a broader story of immigration, change, and a shift to a more globalized existence, all the while demonstrating how he practices being a writer in the world.
“How to speak of the imaginative reach of a land habitually seen as a seedbed of faiths and heresies, confluences and ruptures . . . trouble spot and findspot, ruin and renewal, fault line and ragged clime, with a medley of people and languages once known with mingled affection and wariness as Levantine?” So begins poet Gabriel Levin in his journeys in the Levant, the exotic land that stands at the crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa. Part travelogue, part field guide, and part literary appreciation, The Dune’s Twisted Edge assembles six interlinked essays that explore the eastern seaboard of the Levant and its deserts, bringing to life this small but enigmatic part of the world.
Striking out from his home in Jerusalem in search of a poetics of the Fertile Crescent, Levin probes the real and imaginative terrain of the Levant, a place that beckoned to him as a source of wonder and self-renewal. His footloose travels take him to the Jordan Valley; to Wadi Rumm south of Petra; to the semiarid Negev of modern-day Israel and its Bedouin villages; and, in his recounting of the origins of Arabic poetry, to the Empty Quarter of Arabia where the pre-Islamic poets once roamed. His meanderings lead to encounters with a host of literary presences: the wandering poet-prince Imru al-Qays, Byzantine empress Eudocia, British naturalist Henry Baker Tristram, Herman Melville making his way to the Dead Sea, and even New York avant-garde poet Frank O’Hara. When he is not confronting ghosts, Levin finds himself stumbling upon the traces of vanished civilizations. He discovers a ruined Umayyad palace on the outskirts of Jericho, the Greco-Roman hot springs near the Sea of Galilee, and Nabatean stick figures carved on stones in the sands of Jordan. Vividly evoking the landscape, cultures, and poetry of this ancient region, The Dune’s Twisted Edge celebrates the contested ground of the Middle East as a place of compound myths and identities.
In this groundbreaking study, Denise Cruz investigates the importance of the figure she terms the "transpacific Filipina" to Philippine nationalism, women's suffrage, and constructions of modernity. Her analysis illuminates connections between the rise in the number of Philippine works produced in English and the emergence of new social classes of transpacific women during the early to mid-twentieth century.
Through a careful study of multiple texts produced by Filipina and Filipino writers in the Philippines and the United States—including novels and short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, conduct manuals, and editorial cartoons—Cruz provides a new archive and fresh perspectives for understanding Philippine literature and culture. She demonstrates that the modern Filipina did not emerge as a simple byproduct of American and Spanish colonial regimes, but rather was the result of political, economic, and cultural interactions among the Philippines, Spain, the United States, and Japan. Cruz shows how the complex interplay of feminism, nationalism, empire, and modernity helped to shape, and were shaped by, conceptions of the transpacific Filipina.
English is often a primary literary language for Filipino writers--not only for those in the Philippines but for those resident in the US; both groups are included in this anthology of 31 stories and 108 poems documenting a tradition that began at the turn-of-the-century. Manila-born poet and writer Francia, an editor at the Village Voice, gathers and validates creative work that has had limited distribution not only here but in Asia. ``In the Philippine context, what is foreign and what is indigenous has always been a tricky and ultimately impossible subject,'' Francia writes in his introduction. ``Filipinos have unconsciously perfected the art of mixing the two up....'' Readers who expect Filipino English to have the unexpected inflections and inventiveness of Indian or Caribbean English will be disappointed: the Filipino writer uses standard American English as a native language, but spices it naturally with words form indigenous and adopted tongues: Tagalog, Spanish, Ilokano, etc. Stories look at unrequited passion (in which the sensual tropical ambiance is at odds with society's rules); village life; the different cultures that have settled in the archipelago--Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Hindu Indian; and the consequences of military, colonial, and economic occupation. Both poems and stories consider the experience of Filipinos--some intellectual, some humble--in the US. Among the more familiar contributors: Carlos Bulosan, Jos‚ Garc¡a Villa, Jessica Hagedorn, and Ninotchka Rosca. While the prose selected here is more consistent in quality than the poetry, the poems seem more wide-ranging; like the fiction writers, the poets consider love, politics, and metaphysics but move as well into experimentation and the modernist realm. A satisfying and worthwhile project.
Please fill in Nominee Manila Critics Circle Award
These beautiful and poignant stories evoke a complex and empathetic picture of the Philippines. They reveal characters trapped in the extremity of urban violence or the crushing poverty of the provinces. The reader comes away with new insight into human nature and the valor and courage of the Philippine people. copy
The Scent of the Gods
Fiona Cheong University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress PR9570.S53C467 2010 | Dewey Decimal 823.914
The Scent of the Gods tells the enchanting, haunting story of a young girl's coming of age in Singapore during the tumultuous years of its formation as a nation. Eleven-year-old Su Yen bears witness to the secretive lives of "grown-ups" in her diasporic Chinese family and to the veiled threats in Southeast Asia during the Cold War years. From a child's limited perspective, the novel depicts the emerging awareness of sexuality in both its beauty and its consequences, especially for women. In the context of postcolonial politics, Fiona Cheong skillfully parallels the uncertainties of adolescence with the growing paranoia of a population kept on alert to communist infiltration. In luminous prose, the novel raises timely questions about safety, protection, and democracy--and what one has to give up to achieve them.
Ideal for students and scholars of Asian American and transnational literature, postcolonial history, women's studies, and many other interconnected disciplines, this special edition of The Scent of the Gods includes a contextualizing introduction, a chronology of historical events covered in the novel, and explanatory notes.
During the 19th century, throughout the Anglophone world, most fiction was first published in periodicals. In Australia, newspapers were not only the main source of periodical fiction, but the main source of fiction in general. Because of their importance as fiction publishers, and because they provided Australian readers with access to stories from around the world—from Britain, America and Australia, as well as Austria, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and beyond—Australian newspapers represent an important record of the transnational circulation and reception of fiction in this period.
Investigating almost 10,000 works of fiction in the world’s largest collection of mass-digitized historical newspapers (the National Library of Australia’s Trove database), A World of Fiction reconceptualizes how fiction traveled globally, and was received and understood locally, in the 19th century. Katherine Bode’s innovative approach to the new digital collections that are transforming research in the humanities are a model of how digital tools can transform how we understand digital collections and interpret literatures in the past.
Sightlines: Race, Gender, and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre asserts the centrality of theater to the ongoing negotiations of the Australian context. By exploring ways in which ideas about race, gender, and nation are expressed in concrete theatrical contexts, the performative qualities of theatrical representation are revealed as compelling, important sites of critique.
Helen Gilbert discusses an exciting variety of plays, drawing examples from marginalized groups as well as from the theatrical mainstream. While fully engaged with the discourses of contemporary critical thought, Sightlines remains focused on the material stuff of the theater, grounding its discussion in the visual elements of costume, movement, and scenography. And although focused specifically on performance, the author's insistent interest in historical and political contexts also speaks to the broader concerns of cultural studies.
The book's recurrent concern with representations of Aboriginality, particularly in the works of nonindigenous playwrights, draws attention to racial politics as a perennial motif in postcolonial nations. Its illumination of the relationships between patriarchy and imperialism is supported by an extensive discussion of plays by and about women. This nomadic approach marks Sightlines as a groundbreaking study of recent Australian theater, a provocative application of postcolonial theory to the embodied qualities of theatrical representation.
"An impressive and ground-breaking study that provides a coherent postcolonial approach to Australian drama." --Bill Ashcroft, University of New South Wales
"Elegantly written, and always beautifully lucid in its argument. . . . this is a very original work, particularly in its marriage of performance theory and postcolonial analysis." --Deidre Coleman, University of Sydney
Helen Gilbert is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies, University of Queensland, and co-author, with Joanne Tompkins, of Post-Colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics.
Karen Burnham University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress PR9619.3.E35Z58 2014 | Dewey Decimal 823.914
Greg Egan (1961- ) publishes works that challenge readers with rigorous, deeply-informed scientific speculation. He unapologetically delves into mathematics, physics, and other disciplines in his prose, putting him in the vanguard of the hard science fiction renaissance of the 1990s.
A working physicist and engineer, Karen Burnham is uniquely positioned to provide an in-depth study of Egan's science-heavy oeuvre. Her survey of the author's career covers novels like Permutation City and Schild's Ladder and the Hugo Award-winning novella "Oceanic," analyzing how Egan used cutting-edge scientific theory to explore ethical questions and the nature of humanity. As Burnham shows, Egan's collected works constitute a bold artistic statement: that narratives of science are equal to those of poetry and drama, and that science holds a place in the human condition as exalted as religion or art.
The volume includes a rare interview with the famously press-shy Egan covering his works, themes, intellectual interests, and thought processes.
Shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, Steele Rudd Award for Australian Short Fiction.
In the Shade of the Shady Tree is a collection of stories set in the Western Australian wheatbelt, a vast grain-growing area that ranges across the southwestern end of the immense Australian interior. Kinsella’s stories offer glimpses into the lives of the people who call this area home, as the reader journeys from just north of the town of Geraldton to the far eastern and southern shires of the region.
Cast against a backdrop of indigenous dispossession, settler migration, and the destructive impact of land-clearing and monocultural farming methods, the stories offer moments of connection with the inhabitants, ranging from the matter-of-fact to the bizarre and inexplicable. Something about the nature of the place wrestles with all human interactions and affects their outcomes. The land itself is a dominant character, with dust, gnarled scrubland, and the need for rain underpinning human endeavor. Inflected with both contemporary ideas of short fiction and the “everyman” tradition of Australian storytelling, this collection will introduce many readers to a new landscape and unforgettable characters.
In January 1930 Her Privates We appeared in London, advertised as "a record of experience on the Somme and Ancre fronts in 1916" from the pen of "Private 10922, a well known man of letters, already distinguished in another kind of literature." Reviewers praised the novel as the most accurate and moving portrayal yet rendered of the common soldier, and the work quickly became a bestseller. Shortly thereafter the author was revealed as Frederic Manning, a reclusive and little-known author of narrative poetry, philosophical dialogues, and works on Epicurus. An early contributor to Criterion, Manning enjoyed considerable esteem among his peers—T. E. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot, among others. How did a classical and noncommercial author come to write a grittily realistic war novel? Manning fled from the attendant publicity, avoiding the limelight assiduously and successfully. Marwil's search for the answer to this riddle and for the details of his life (in some ways the search is as interesting and revealing as the results) and his account of Manning's life and work reveal a great deal of the intellectual and social world of Edwardian and Georgian England.
The Smoking Book
Lesley Stern University of Chicago Press, 1999 Library of Congress PR9619.3.S796S64 1999 | Dewey Decimal 823
The Smoking Book is a dreamlike structure built on the solid foundation of two questions: how does it feel to smoke, and what does smoking mean? Lesley Stern, in an innovative, hybrid form of writing, muses on these questions through intersecting stories and essays that connect, expand, and contract like smoke rings floating through the air.
Stern writes of addictions and passionate attachments, of the body and bodily pleasure, of autobiography and cultural history. Smoking is Stern's seductive pretext, her way of entering unknown and mysterious regions. The Smoking Book begins with intimate and vivid accounts of growing up on a tobacco farm in colonial Rhodesia, reminiscences that permeate subsequent excursions into precolonial tobacco production and postcolonial life in Zimbabwe, as well as dramatic vignettes set in Australia, the United States, Scotland, Italy, Japan, and South America. Stern has written a book, at once intensely personal and kaleidoscopically international, that weaves the intimate act of a solitary person smoking a cigarette into a broad cultural picture of desire, exchange, fulfillment, and the acts that bind people together, either in lasting ways or through ephemeral encounters.
The Smoking Book is for anyone who has ever smoked or loved a smoker (against their better judgment); it is for those who have never smoked or for those who mourn the loss of cigarettes as they would grieve for a lost friend. But mostly, The Smoking Book is for all those who are smoldering still.
In the world of crime fiction, Arthur W. Upfield stands among the giants. His detective-inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, is one of the most memorable of all crime fighters. Upfield was an independent, fiercely self-assertive ex-Britisher, who loved Australia, especially the Outback. In many ways Upfield became Outback Australia—the “Spirit of Australia.”
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Upfield, Arthur William, -- 1888-1964 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Detective and mystery stories, Australian -- History and criticism.
Bonaparte, Napoleon, Inspector (Fictitious character)
National characteristics, Australian, in literature.
Australia -- In literature.
Police in literature.
Crime in literature.