Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

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.

January 4, 2013

Viewpoint, It Takes a Murder and Australian Women Writers’ Challenge 2013

Viewpoint Review

Alien Shores has also been reviewed by Mario La Marca in the current issue of Viewpoint the prestigious journal for Young Adult readers, writers and publishers, as well as High School teachers and librarians.

Anu Kumar It takes a Murder

It Takes a Murder by Anu Kumar, cover courtesy Amazon.com

It Takes a Murder

Anu Kumar whose story ‘Big Fish’ appears in Alien Shores has a new novel out:

Anu Kumar’s novel “It Takes a Murder” is now in widespread American distribution… In Kindle format
http://www.amazon.com/It-Takes-a-Murder-ebook/dp/B00AG1GQLU

And you can buy the paperback from Biblio and other sources….

 

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013

Marisa Wikramanayake has “signed up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge for 2013 to read, review and promote Australian female authors. If you can recommend a few titles (even your own) that would be great…”

Drop in on the Australian Women Writers Challenge and suggest a book for review, or take the challenge to read and review yourself.

Marisa Wikramanayake writes that: the authors “must be Australian and female. The genres I read are literary fiction, crime fiction, non-fiction and occasionally science fiction and fantasy”.

http://marisa.com.au/the-australian-women-writers-challenge-2013/?fb_source=pubv1

December 20, 2012

Compliments of the Season, as Sunil Badami reviews “Alien Shores”

Meenakshi and I bring you the latest review of  Alien Shores by Sunil Badami published in Mascara Literary Review.

 Sunil’s review is particularly knowledgeable and culturally sensitive for which we thank him.

As Simone Lazaroo mentions in ‘Not just another Migrant Story1, we need reviewers with “cultural sensitivity to give Asian-Australian literary writers of merit a go … we also need more critics knowledgeable of the great diversity of Asian-Australian cultures to review those writers’ work in ‘mainstream’ newspapers and magazines, not just academic journals and books. One can only hope that Asian-Australian literature will be reviewed more often in more informed ways in such newspapers and magazines, rather than according to culturally inappropriate criteria”.

Sunil’s review achieves all this and more.

You can readSunil Badami reviews Alien Shores Ed Sharon Rundle & Meenakshi Bharat at Mascara Literary Review

http://mascarareview.com/sunil-badami-reviews-alien-shores/

 

Andrew Y M Kwong (centre) with Julia Mackay-Koelen, Meenakshi Bharat, Sharon Rundle and Michelle Cahill at the Central Coast launch of 'Alien Shores'.

Andrew Y M Kwong (centre) with Julia Mackay-Koelen, Meenakshi Bharat, Sharon Rundle and Michelle Cahill at the Central Coast launch of ‘Alien Shores’.

Abdul, Linda and Sharon at Hughenden Launch

Abdul, Linda and Sharon at Hughenden Launch

 

 

Wishing you all Compliments of the Season, a very Merry Christmas, a safe and happy holiday and

a brilliant New Year in 2013!

Xmas Tree

1Lazaroo, Simone. 2008, ‘Not just another Migrant Story’, Australian Humanities Review, Issue 45. ANU Press.

October 29, 2012

Week-end Book Review: Ships in the Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro

Ships in the Field

Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro launch “Ships in the Field”.

A sensitive and intelligent review of Susanne Gervay’s picture book ‘Ships in the Field‘. It will make an excellent Christmas present for children.

Week-end Book Review by Marjorie Coughlan: Ships in the Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro.

Alien Shores

Alien Shores, Brass Monkey Books. Short stories.

 

is going to reprint. Congratulations to all involved. Please pass the word to your book clubs, Good Reads, blogsnetworks, newsrooms, FaceBook and on your websites.

Alien Shores would also make a welcome Diwali, Christmas or end-0f-year present. Order ‘Ships in the Field’ and ‘Alien Shores’ from your  book shop or online.

Coop Bookshop Blog review of Alien Shores by Manisha Amin

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 

June 16, 2012

‘Alien Shores’ launched

Huge thanks to all who participated in our successful launch of Alien Shores.

We managed not one but four launches for Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle this volume features stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent by Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Susanne Gervay, Jamil Ahmad, Sophie Masson, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Joginder Paul, Ali Alizadeh, Tabish Khair, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sujata Sankranti, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Rosie Scott.

The collection of stories is a transnational publication to bring stories from India to Australia and from Australia to India. In our brief to the authors, Meenakshi and I asked that the stories be fictional, original and not play the blame game; but reveal the deeper complexities of the lives of refugees and asylum seekers from many different perspectives. The authors responded to our brief by imaginatively showing the effect on people in their daily lives. These diverse, creative and imaginative stories cover some surprising territory. Each story is different and unique. This means that we have included stories that portray refugees in a less kindly light, stories with no happy endings, stories that are deeply moving and stories that inspire with their courage and hope, warmth and humour.

In Sydney, Alien Shores was launched on May 20 by Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul-General of India, Sydney, at a stellar event sponsored by the Hughenden Hotel. Finding a person to launch a book is never a problem. The real achievement lies in having someone who has not only read the book but one who brings a unique understanding to it.

In releasing Alien Shores, the Consul-General of India, Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta addressed the audience in a way that showed compassion and understanding. He acknowledged the gravity of a world with a moving mosaic of refugees. He spoke of the need for us to show humanity and of how easily any one of us could be thrust into similar situations.  The Consul-General spoke with warmth, generosity and humour.

Photo of the Consul-General of India taken by Raihana Hekmat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Roanna Gonsalves, our MC, made sure that the launch was beautifully paced. Editors Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle spoke about discovering the theme and collaborating to bring these stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent together in a transnational collection. Linda Jaivin, Andrew Y M Kwong, Abdul Hekmat, Michelle Cahill, Susanne Gervay and Rosie Scott, who have given such support for Alien Shores, came along and read from their stories; and afterwards happily signed books at our tea party. Authors in the audience included David Malouf, Devika Brendon, Patti Miller, Libby Sommer, Mabel Lee, Jacquie Everitt, as well as film and theatre producers Ana Tiwari, Neel Banerjee and Devaki Monani from SBS Hindi Radio.

 Readings Bookstore hosted the launch of Alien Shores in Melbourne on May 21.

Julian Burnside QC gave a moving and eloquent speech to launch ‘Alien Shores’. Arnold Zable read briefly from his story in ‘The Dust of Life’, followed by author and poet Ali Alizadeh who spoke about the unique perspective of his story before treating the audience to a short reading from ‘The Ogre’.  Sharon and Meenakshi revealed more about publishing the collection of stories. Publisher Kabita Dhara, spoke about Brass Monkey Books and Alien Shores. Authors Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner joined us to celebrate the release of Alien shores.

After toasting Alien Shores with a glass of bubbly, Meenakshi and I moved on to Lygon Street to a birthday dinner for Paul Collins with Susanne Gervay, Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner and Edwin Wandha where we consumed some delish pasta and a few more bubbles.

Gosford Library Services held a Preview Launch on May 18 at their Erina Library on the NSW Central Coast.

        

Guest of Honour, Deb O’Neill, Federal MP, gave an impassioned speech about the theme of the book. Her deep understanding and recognition of the purpose of the book and the individual stories within, as she launched the volume had the audience spellbound. Andrew Y M Kwong, Michelle Cahill, Julia Mackay-Koelen attended the launch. Editors Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat talked about the value of reading the stories by authors from India and Australia in Alien Shores. John Caska, acted as MC to introduce the guest speakers.

 Gloucester Writers’ Festival launched Alien Shores during their warm and friendly lunch time event.

The festival featured writers Michael Wilding, Lisa Heidke, Lisa Walker and Susanne Gervay who was keynote speaker. Andrew Y M Kwong and Sharon Rundle read from their stories. Sharon spoke about the genesis of the book and Susanne gripped the audience with her story of her refugee background.

 

 Alien Shorespresents nineteen remarkable stories from acclaimed writers based in Australia and 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.

Alien Shores is available in all good book stores, including the Coop Bookshop, Berkelouw Paddington, Abbeys, Dymocks, Gleebooks, QBD.

 Alien Shores is published by Brass Monkey Books an imprint of Hunter Publishers.

 brassmonkey@hunterpublishers.com.au

 for any enquiries

 

ALIEN SHORES IS AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2012 FROM UNITED BOOK DISTRIBUTORS

 

 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.

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.

January 4, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

Some friends have had an exciting start to 2012!

Meenakshi, Co-editor of  Alien Shores and Fear Factor Terror Incognito, spotted two young tigers on 23 December during a family holiday at Bandhavgarh in the National Park, Madhya Pradesh, INDIA.

Meenakshi’s photo of one of two young tigers that she spotted.

Alan Scarratt in the UK tells me that his son, Ryan, is in the Norwegian Arctic with Mark Wood who is preparing for his North Pole/South Pole solo attempt and sent a couple of youtube videos. the videos are by Ryan Scarratt and Mark Wood. Mark is the one currently on his way solo to the South and North Poles.

Mark’s company is called “Snowball Expeditions” .  Alan says: “Their website is great and has videos of Ryan playing volleyball with a bunch of kids and their teachers in Tibet. There is also a picture of him walking towards Everest on the homepage. The two of them together with a couple of others periodically guide would-be adventurers to Everest base camp.”

I’ve seen the slide-show on the  Snowball Expeditions home page and the photos are spectacular!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TXYrAFZD_A&feature=email

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoJK1TNFL-w&feature=email

Michelle Cahill has enjoyed a Writers’ Retreat in Scotland as a Hawthornden Castle Fellow.

While our fabulous Ambassador for Australian literature, Anita Heiss celebrated New Year in New York.

I’m enjoying a much quieter time – for a few days at least – but a few exciting events are coming up, including tickets to Love Never Dies at the Sydney Capitol Theatre with my lovely daughter, an Australia Day lunch at Darling Harbour with good friend Susanne Gervay and a visit by my niece from New Zealand. A trip to the Central Coast to catch up with friends and to spend some time by the sea will cap off a great start to the New Year.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and prolific New Year!

Much Peace & Love,

Sharon

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: