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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... vol. 10 no. 1 November 2017 of Transnational Literature est. 2008 Transnational Literature
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'Welcome to the November 2017 issue of Transnational Literature. We begin our tenth year with a wide-ranging selection of peer-reviewed articles, review essays, translations, poems, stories and book reviews from more than fifty contributors based all over the world. And as a recent post on the Flinders University Library eResearch blog points out, you – our readers – come from all over the world as well.' (Letter from Editor)


  • Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    Home, Factory, World: Domestic and Global Fictions in the work of Lavanya Sankaran by Anna Guttman 

    Intersecting Memory and Witnessing Violence in Anita Desai's The Zigzag Way by Bhawana Jain

    Pataphysical Discourse and Georgian Reflections in Comparative Analysis of Georgian and French Avant-Garde by Medea Muskhelishvili

    Dumping Grounds: Donald Trump, Edward Abbey and the Immigrant and Pollution by Michael Potts

    Of Surface and Depth: Agnes Smedley's Sketches of Chinese Everyday Life by Fredrik Tudal

    The Beloved in Nader Naderpour's Poetry by Rouhollar Zarei

    Review Essay: Nzuri Na Mengi ('Good and Plenty'): The Caine Prize for African Literature, 2007-2016 by Ron Singer

    A Family of Aliens by Natasha Garrett

    Jaydeep Sarangi, Faithfully, I Wait: Poems on Rain, Thunder and Lightning at Jhargram and Beyond (Cyberwit, 2017) by Melinda Graefe

    Poetry Singaporean Feature edited by Alison Flett

    About Roots by Vinita Agrawal

    Kali by Anjana Basu

    Translator of Hope by Jaydeep Sarangi

    Three Poems by Nader Naderpour, a Poet of the Sun Translated, introduced and analysed by Rouhollah Zarei

    ‘A Chance Meeting’ by Rabindranath Tagore Translated by Md. Rezaul Haque

    Absent Beloved by Ishrat Bashir

    Crossing the Danube by Rebecca Gould

    Margot Singer, Underground Fugue review by Gillian Dooley

    Surviving the Gulag by Ilse Johansen review by Lauren Dougherty

    Zhang Yihe, Red Peonies: Two Novellas of China, edited by Frank Stewart; translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping review by Sebastian Galbo

    Sheila Delany, The Woman Priest: A Translation of Sylvain Maréchal’s Novella, La femme abbé review by Robyn Greaves

    Depoeticized Rhapsody by Sarwar Morshed review by Nasima Islam

    The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy review by Jobin M. Kanjirakkat

    Poems of Rolando S. Tinio, Jose F. Lacaba, Rio Alma translated from the Tagalog and introduced by Robert Nery review by John Miles

    Bashabi Fraser, The Homing Bird review by Mario Relich

    Bbihu Padhi, Sea Dreams review by Jaydeep Sarangi

    Exit West by Mohsin Hamid review by Philip Sullter

    Shahd Alshammari, Notes on the Flesh review by Heather Taylor Johnson

    Alternative Modernities in French Travel Writing: Engaging Urban Space in London and New York, 1851–1986 by Gillian Jein review by Abdelfattah Adel

    Post-Multicultural Writers as Neo-Cosmopolitan Mediators by Sneja Gunew review by Yingjie M. Cheng

    Troubled Testimonies: Terrorism and the English Novel in India by Meenakshi Bharat review by Md. Rezaul Haque

    A Companion to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieedited by Ernest N. Emenyonu review by Lorenzo Mari

    Jane Austen's Names: Riddles, Persons, Places by Margaret Doody review by Graham Tulloch

    Thinking with Literature: Towards a Cognitive Criticm by Terence Cave review by Jean-François Vernay

    Genre Fiction of New India: Post-Millenial Receptions of 'Weird' Narratives by E. Dawson Varughese review by Pete Walsh

    Multicultural and Marginalized Voices of Postcolonial Literature edited by Varun Gulati and Garima Dalal review by Kathleen Steele


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Evoking a Displaced Homeland : The ‘Poetic Memoir’ of Andrzej Chciuk, Mary Besemeres , single work criticism

'This article looks at some poems by Polish Australian writer Andrzej Chciuk (1920-1978). Chciuk migrated to Australia from France in 1951, having escaped Nazi-occupied Poland as a twenty-year-old in 1940. In Australia he worked as a schoolteacher in Melbourne while continuing to write poetry and fiction in Polish. His work was published in prestigious Polish emigré outlets like the Paris-based journal Kultura and in Australia with sponsorship from the Polish migrant community; to date no English translations of it have appeared. My article focuses on a sequence of poems in his 1961 Pamiętnik poetycki (Poetic Memoir) called ‘Tamta Ziemia’ (That Other Land), about the cities and towns of Chciuk’s childhood: Lwów, Borysław and his hometown of Drohobycz. When the author was growing up these towns were in eastern Poland; by the time of his writing, in the 1950s, however, they had become part of Soviet Ukraine, and were thus doubly removed from his life in Australia. He wrote as a displaced person whose childhood home had itself been displaced. Hence the powerful note of longing that pervades his ‘poetic memoir’. Through a reading of some passages in my English translation, I hope to convey something of Chciuk’s lively poetic voice, and to show that he deserves admission to discussions of twentieth-century transnational Australian literature.'  (Publication abstract)

Check Your Metaphors : Review Essay, Paul Sharrad , single work essay

'It has been a source of wonder to me how the Netherlands has kept publishing sometimes quite arcane scholarly works when everywhere else has succumbed to market forces and multinational mergers. Despite (science-based) research measurements and other publishers’ reluctance to accept collections of conference papers, Rodopi, for some decades now, has managed to put out edited collections of literary studies grouped under the ‘Commonwealth’ or ‘postcolonial’ label, the best known being the ‘Cross/Cultures’ series. Some of its volumes have been influential in shifting critical focus and introducing new writing to the world.' 

Featured Poet: Jill Jones, Jill Jones , single work essay
Approaching the Magic Numberi"It’s far too stifling though it’s early", Jill Jones , single work poetry
Laundromat Near the Corner of Passage Alexandrinei"Here’s to centuries of laundromats", Jill Jones , single work poetry
Arctic Expressi"There are footprints of deer", Jill Jones , single work poetry
Ghazal for The Sisters of Mercy*i"Bowl cut, bumfluff, bucktooth: Other. Russia", Stuart Barnes , single work poetry
In Memoriami"The light is different over there;", Gillian Dooley , single work poetry
Scaffoldi"Neither bare nor ruined", David Mortimer , single work poetry
Shawarma, Muhummara and the Osh Guys, Michael Armstrong , single work autobiography

'I grew up in a multicultural part of Melbourne in the 1970s and 80s, so many of my school friends were non-English speaking migrants – ‘New Australians’ or ‘wogs’, as they were sometimes called. The differences in culture and religious practice did not matter too much to us, and we played football and cricket together, rode our bikes around the streets, poked fun at the local grump, ‘Mr Froggy’, and made a small contribution to the benign delinquency in our neighbourhood. I shared everything with my friends, especially food: white paper bags of mixed lollies, steaming butcher-paper packages of hot chips, cans of RC Cola, and other treats we bought after school from the numerous corner shops we used to call milk bars. But we never shared a homemade lunch, and I never visited a migrant friend’s home for dinner. It was fine to play cricket and footy or go for long bike-rides with the Antons, Tonys and Spiros of my adolescent world, but that world had no place for their salami and smelly cheese. Migrant food was a cultural demarcation line that I instinctively would not cross.' (Introduction)

Finding Mathilde, Lauren Butterworth , single work prose
Snow, Reg Taylor , single work autobiography
J. M. Coetzee, The Schooldays of Jesus, Sienna Barton , single work essay

'J. M. Coetzee’s latest novel makes for difficult reading. I have read The Schooldays of Jesus three times, and each time I pick up a new thread to follow, but am somehow unable to piece together the work’s complete meaning (if there is ‘one meaning’). On the one hand, it references both Russian and Spanish literature (Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Cervantes’ Don Quixote) whilst alluding to the son of God in its title, and on the other, it can be read on its own as a meditation on the concepts of passion and memory. Like in 2013’s The Childhood of Jesus, we don’t see Jesus at all and he isn’t mentioned by name. In fact, we might as well be situated in a world where Jesus doesn’t exist, as the characters’ conversations lean toward the philosophical rather than the religious. There is not the slightest mention of religion or prayer. The elusiveness of the book’s titular character leads one to an allegorical reading, rather than a literal one. What the allegory is, though, I cannot be sure. We are privy not to the childhood and schooldays of Jesus the son of God, but of a self-assured young boy named Davíd, and his parents are not Joseph and The Virgin Mary, but two strangers: the boring middle-aged Simón and the sexless, perhaps virginal, Inés.' (Introduction)

Susan Fealy, Flute of Milk, Annette Couch , single work essay

'Susan Fealy’s poetry volume imparts intricate, visual, moody and surreal subtleties, with the alacrity and refinement of a true philologist. The narratives reconfigure the subject matter, making salient the beautiful, the tender, the refractorily timeless with immersion in experience. Symbolism, allegory, and metaphor are richly deployed throughout the volume. Most certainly, Fealy has a refined appreciation for art, literature, and film; her talent for transmuting these into poetic creations attests to this. The reverence however, rests more in the visual than the existential: even the very sad is still very visually pristine (Flute of Milk; In Lieu of a Statue).'  (Introduction)

Stephen Orr, Datsunland, Lauren Dougherty , single work essay

'Stephen Orr is an Adelaide-based writer and teacher with several books to his name. Two of his works, Time’s Long Ruin (2010) and The Hands (2015), were longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary award. His latest work, Datsunland (2017) is a compilation of short stories, mostly set in Adelaide and country South Australia.' (Introduction)

Leah Kaminsky, The Waiting Room, Ruth Starke , single work essay

'Haifa, Israel, May 2001, and a heavily pregnant woman, a doctor, is at the site of a bomb blast, picking her way carefully through the dead, perhaps looking for her husband who is not answering his phone. Her attention is suddenly caught by a coloured gemstone lying amid the rubble; ‘the last thing she sees before she passes out is a mangled body lying in a heap over in one corner. Red lipstick still perfectly frames the dead woman’s lips’.' (Introduction)

Rallying by Quinn Eades, Heather Taylor Johnson , single work essay

'In the opening poem of Rallying, Quinn Eades quotes the French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray: ‘Call yourself. Give, yourself, names.’ then presents us with a fourteen-page poem in which the poet moves swiftly, however fragmentedly, from a little girl who cares for her sister, to a heroin addict and sex worker, to a male writer. There are other identities, too, that fall in between, each as crisply visualised as the one before. It’s called ‘How to disappear in your name’, and it’s an adapted form of haibun, where memories are a rush of prose, and reflections in short-stanza verse follows. And it’s stunning. It’s closely aligned with Eades’s fictocritical(ish) 2015 debut prose work, all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, a book of non-fictive feminist poetics, a highlight of my reading last year. They were written side by side and they cover the same territory, but rather than see Rallying as a new way to write all the beginnings, I see it as a new way to write the body: the body as child, the used and addicted body, the mothering body which has its foundations in the female birthing and therefore the nourishing and giving body, the body in love, the trans body. In a single poem, which, unlike the rest of the poems in the book is not bracketed by a titled section but stands alone as its own body, so to speak, Eades paints the person who held each name, and each name comes together to culminate in ‘Quinn’, and in Quinn.' (Introduction)

Australian Literature in the German Democratic Republic : Reading through the Iron Curtain Edited by Nicole Moore and Christina Spitte, Anne Lauppe-Dunbar. , single work essay

'Emine Sevgi Özdamer’s protagonist in the tale Career of Char: Memories of Germany is ‘a witness of the solitude of the German high rise dwellers’. As she goes through her daily routine she ‘listens to the sounds of loneliness’1 and is able to inhabit only a rigidly fugitive state of mind.' (Introduction)

Laura Deane, Gender, Madness and Colonial Paranoia in Australian Literature : Australian Psychoses, Jennifer Osborn , single work essay

'Gender and madness appear in the question that opens this book: ‘What is a madwoman?’ (ix). The answer is provided through the lens of feminist literary theory, psychoanalysis and postcolonial theory; Laura Deane is a lecturer at Flinders University with expertise in literary theory and world literature. As the title of the book also indicates, ‘Australian literature’ is the prime focus of her enquiry, with ‘colonial paranoia’ playing an important part in the analysis.'  (Introduction)

Susan Sheridan, The Fiction of Thea Astley, Peter Walsh , single work essay

'Susan Sheridan’s latest book, The Fiction of Thea Astley, is a comprehensive cross-disciplinary analysis of the greater portion of Astley’s oeuvre. Interestingly, Sheridan’s analysis focuses primarily on the interrogation of the role of emotions in Astley’s novels and short stories. While the first chapter is aptly named, ‘A Study in Emotions’, it is from this platform which Sheridan launches her interrogation of the literary worlds created by Astley. Sheridan’s book is the perfect reader for researchers and enthusiasts interested in the broader thematic, generic and sociopolitical preoccupations of Astley’s bibliography. Sheridan is at her finest analytical self when she exposes the feministic undercurrent of Astley’s novels. She situates Astley’s works, as they should be, in a specific political and temporal space which Sheridan shows both creates and problematises Astley’s writing. This fierce indictment of the patriarchy is one of the key elements which Sheridan interrogates in Astley’s work.'  (Introduction)

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