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January 26, 2013

Meenakshi Bharat: A House for Mr Biswas: Critical Perspectives

Happy Australia Day!

and to friends in India, Happy Republic Day!

I am very excited about the announcement of the release of a book edited by my co-editor, colleague and dear friend, Dr Meenakshi Bharat.

This collection is essential reading for those studying and researching Indian literature, postcolonial literary theory and transnational fiction. While this book is of particular interest to those who enjoy his work, it is also a fascinating introduction for those who haven’t yet read V S Naipaul.

Meenakshi

Meenakshi is Associate Professor at Sri Venkateswara College at the University of Delhi; an executive on the committee of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia; an author and editor. She has presented at conferences, seminars and symposia around the world, including Sydney University, University of Technology Sydney, Wollongong University.

V.S.NAIPAUL’S

A House for Mr Biswas: Critical Perspectives

Edited by

Meenakshi Bharat

Bharat Naipul Critial Perspectives

This volume revisits V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas about 50 years after its first publication in the year 1961, and critiques what constitutes its abiding appeal. Fourteen leading scholars from across the globe posit seminal critical responses to this now nearly an iconic novel, noticing the deep focus it wields with consummate artistry on the seemingly trivial but arresting aspirations of a third-world journalist. They also revaluate issues and concerns such as the autobiographical mode of writing, the play of metaphor or metonymy, and the role of the theories of creolization vis-à-vis this text. Each of the essays looks at the novel closely and each from an inimitably distinctive point of view.  Together they make for an invaluable collection of fresh insights into Biswasdom and Naipaulia.

Contributors: Cameron Fae Bushnell; Debaditya Bhattacharya; Florence Lebaune-Demeule; Gillian Dooley; Gregory Wilson; Harish Trivedi; John Thieme; Meenakshi Bharat; Meenakshi Mukherjee; Neil ten Kortenaar; Ratna Raman; Savi Munjal; Vijay Mishra; Vijay Maharaj

Meenakshi Bharat teaches in Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. She is a writer, translator, reviewer and critic. Her special interests include children’s literature, women’s fiction and English studies — areas which she has extensively researched. She was responsible for the India section in The Cambridge Book of Children’s Literature.  Apart from the various articles and reviews, her published books are: The Ultimate Colony  (2003),  Desert in Bloom: Indian Women Writers of  Fiction in  English  (2004), Filming  the Line of Control (2008), Rushdie the Novelist  (2009),  an edition of George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss,   two volumes of Indo-Australian short fiction entitled Fear Factor: Terror Incognitoed from Picador (India 2009, Australia, 2010) and  Alien  Shores,  from Brass Monkey Books (Australia,  2012).  A children’s book, Little Elephant throws a Party  is in the press.  

ISBN: 978-93-82178-02-6                                                                  Rs. 650

Contents

        Acknowledgements

Introduction: A New House for Mr Biswas

The Context

1.     Looking for Mr Biswas       

        John Thieme                                                                                        

2.     The Many Houses of Mr Naipaul

Harish Trivedi                                                                                       

 

3.     Plantation Culture, Naipaul and  the House

        Vijay Mishra

4.     Mr Biswas: Paragon of Creole Virtues

        Vijay Maharaj

 

5.     Foundational Acts: Enunciating a West Indian  Literary

        Tradition in Naipaul’s Mr Biswas

        Cameron Fae Bushnell                                                                       

 

The Text

6.   Colonial Maladies, Postcolonial Cures

       Meenakshi Bharat

7.     Interstitial Conundrums: Understanding

        Liminality in A House for Mr Biswas

        Savi Munjal                                                                                          

 

8.     A Father Among Many Others: Re-reading

        A House for Mr Biswas

        Debaditya Bhattacharya                                                                   

9.     Narrative Displacement: Constructing Mohun Biswas’s

        House of Fiction

        Florence Labaune-Demeule                                                            

10.  ‘Mr Biswas Finds a Home in the World on Paper’

       Neil ten Kortenaar                                                                              

11.  ‘His own Portion of the Earth’: The Rhetoric of

        Alienation and Separation in Naipaul’s

        A House for Mr Biswas

        Gregory Wilson                                                                                  

Text and Texts

12. Looking Back in Anger: The Transformation of

        Childhood Memories in two West Indian Novels

        Gillian Dooley                                                                                     

 

13. The House and the Road: Two Modes of 

        Autobiographical Fiction 

        Meenakshi Mukherjee                                                                       

 

After-Text

14.  No House for Shama Biswas

        Ratna Raman

       Contributors         

                                                     

This book is a worthwhile addition to any library. Please pass the word and ask your library acquisitions officer to add it to your library.

September 25, 2012

Alien Shores & AILIF Podcasts and Reports

Two Radio Podcasts from SBS Radio this week and a podcast from ABC Radio National.

Two are interviews about Alien Shores, tales of refugees and asylum seekers – stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent. The other is about Poet Prabodh Parikh in Sydney.

SBS Hindi Radio

Alien Shores

An exclusive interview with the editors of ‘Alien Shores’, Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle. Interview by Devaki Monani, SBS Hindi Radio.

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/highlight/page/id/231085/t/Alien-Shores/in/english

ABC Radio National Books and Arts Daily Interview. Michael Cathcart with Susanne Gervay and Sharon Rundle.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/alien-shores/4025364

Article in Indian Herald (online and print editions)

http://indianherald.com.au/epaper/aug2012/?utm_source=Rohit+Contacts&utm_campaign=6e01d9b6cc-August2012_Epaper&utm_medium=email#/40/

An article was published in IndianLink NATIONAL EDITION June (1) 2012 p17 (Online and Print editions).

SBS Gujarati

Poet Prabodh Parikh in Sydney

Gujarati poet, short fiction writer and visual artist Shri Probodh Parikh was in Sydney to attend Australia India Literatures International Forum. His book of poems, Kaunsman has been awarded the Gujarati Sahitya Akademi Award and the G F Saraf Award for Best Gujarati Book.

Vaidehi Mehta talked to him about his love for poetry, Philosophy and his attraction and connection to the Bangla language.

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/gujarati/highlight/page/id/232601/t/Poet-Prabodh-Parikh-in-Sydney/in/english

Newspaper reports:

The making and mastering of myths

Renowned writer/actor Girish Karnad speaks at an Australia-India writers’ fest. PRIYADARSHINI reports in IndianLink.

http://www.indianlink.com.au/front-page/the-making-and-mastering-of-myths/

A full report of the Australia India Literatures International Forum at the State Library NSW is published in  The Indian Herald.

http://indianherald.com.au/australian-news/australia-india-literatures-international-forum-a-great-success/2232/

More authors in the Media

Also, Watch out for Susanne Gervay on Channel Seven ‘Today Tonight’ soon.

Susanne Gervay and Deb Abela speak  about ghost stories in the The Age newspaper, September 23.

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/stories-that-go-bump-in-the-night-20120922-26dfa.html

July 23, 2012

First Night of ‘Frivolities at Five Ways’

Frivolities at Five Ways is a very entertaining way to spend an evening.

These seven short plays are guaranteed to have you laughing at the way the characters see the world.

I went along to the first night of this season of short plays to join Linda Jaivin, Susanne Gervay and Linda’s friends Alexander, Ahmed, Lesley, Mandy, Rosemary and Simon. It was a lively table with wine, cheese and chatter—but all eyes and ears were on the performers as soon as the Frivolities began.

I loved Linda Jaivin’s play Lucky to Have Them, a hilarious monologue set in a Double Bay hairdressing salon, where a woman unloads her neurotic thoughts and trivial troubles onto her long-suffering stylist; but is so involved in her problems that she fails to see he has left the room. Linda tells me it was inspired by an article that she once read about a celebrity hairdresser in Double Bay and the women who went to him. Emma Harris gives a very amusing and expressive performance as a woman of privilege who feels much put-upon by the demands and antics of family and friends.

All of the plays had the audience chuckling.They are all well written with sterling performances from the actors. Another highlight for me was the witty Tumble Tots,  written by Kate Toon, which really hit the mark as a comment on ‘helicopter’ mums who compete to be the most socially aware and environmentally conscious in their neighbourhood. A touch of pathos amid the many laugh-out-loud moments. Nicola Furst and Corinne Marie were superb in performing this very topical play.

Congratulations to the Writers: Linda Jaivin, Kate Toon, Mark Harvey, Pete Malicki, Malcolm Frawley;    Actors: Nicola Furst, Corinne Marie, Grace Rouvray, Emma Harris, Claire Gandy, David Woodland, Steven McGrath; Directors: Malcolm Frawley, Lewis Scamozzi, Ingrid Yin Hu; and to Nicola Furst producer and organiser–and to furst class productions.

Finally, congratulations to Susanne Gervay who won a raffle prize—looking forward to seeing the ‘love those lashes’ fluttering.

The venue is St George Church in Paddington, and it’s showtime every Saturday night from 21 July through 25 August. Bookings at Moshtix.

First Night at Frivolities at Five-Ways.

 Linda’ story ‘Karim’ is published in Alien Shores, tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Published Brass Monkey Books, May 2012.

Her latest book is A Most Immoral Woman 

July 5, 2012

FRIVOLITY at FIVE WAYS!

“Lucky to Have Them”.

Linda Jaivin, best-selling novelist, author of marvellous short stories and playwright, tells me that she has “a tiny little play (a monologue called ‘Lucky to Have Them’ inspired by an article I once read about a celebrity hairdresser in Double Bay and the women who went to him) in a what should be a fun season of short plays:

Frivolity at Five Ways.

The venue is St George Church in Paddington, and it’s showtime every Saturday night from 21 July through 25 August. I’ll be there on the 21st, and would love it if you could join me then, but if you can make it any time during the season, that’d be fantastic.”

Linda has a story ‘Karim’ in Alien Shores, which she read so beautifully at our Sydney launch at The Hughenden.

I’ll be there at Frivolity at Five Ways along with Susanne Gervay and other friends. Hope you can join us.

FRIVOLITY at FIVE WAYS

http://www.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=58248&ref=moshtix&skin=

May 1, 2012

Launching Alien Shores!

Alien Shores

You are cordially invited to join us to celebrate the launch of Alien Shores.

Brass Monkey Books Australia.

Editors: Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Eds)

Publish Date: May 2012

ISBN-13:9780980863932

ISBN-10:0980863937

Origin:Australia

Imprint:Hunter Publishers

Publisher:U.Q.P.

 

It is the writer’s act of imagination which is the basis of all good fiction, the kind of fiction that opens new worlds to the reader. The power of literature to move people, allow us to see into one another’s hearts, to foster compassion and understanding and inspire political action works in a way that almost nothing else does.’ — Foreword, Rosie Scott

 

Alien Shores presents nineteen remarkable stories from acclaimed writers based in Australia and on the Indian Subcontinent, which ruminate on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers all over the world. Powerful, poignant and sometimes funny, they tell the tales of brave people who, at great peril to their own safety, seek out a new life in a new land.

 

Contributors: Deepa Agarwal, Jamil Ahmad, Ali Alizadeh, Meenakshi Bharat, Michelle Cahill, Susanne Gervay, Amitav Ghosh, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Linda Jaivin, Tabish Khair, Anu Kumar, Andrew Y M Kwong, Julia McKay-Koelen, Sophie Masson, Joginder Paul, Sharon Rundle, Sujata Sankranti, Bijoya Sawian, Arnold Zable.

Book Launches

Gloucester Writers Festival

Sunday May 6

12 noon

http://www.gloucesterwritersfestival.com/registrationtickets.html

Central Coast Preview Launch

Erina Library

NSW Central Coast

6 pm – 8 pm

Friday 18 May 2012

Deb O’Neill MP, Federal Member for Robertson

RSVP 17th May 2012 to 02 4304 7500

Or book online at http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/library/whatson

Kindly sponsored by Erina Library

 

Sydney Launch

Hughenden Boutique Hotel

14 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW

2 pm – 4 pm

Sunday 20 May 2012

Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul-General of India, Sydney

Sydney Writers Festival umbrella event

Kindly sponsored by the Hughenden Hotel

Please book by May 10:  reservations@thehughenden.com.au

Head booking with: Launch 20th May 

Parking: Plenty of parking at Centennial Parkland across the road

 

Melbourne Launch

Readings Books, Carlton

6:30 pm

Monday 21 May 2012

Julian Burnside QC

RSVP: sharonrundle@roundtablewriting.com

 

When in Sydney please consider staying at The Hughenden

(02) 9363 4863 or reservations@thehughenden.com.au

 

Meet the authors and have your books signed. Join us for conversation and refreshments.

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