Letter from the Editor
Welcome to the May 2014 issue of Transnational Literature, which rounds off our sixth year of publication. We have a broad range of offerings for you, as always: contributions from every continent: articles, review essays, poems, stories, creative non-fiction, and book reviews.
I’m delighted to welcome a new member of the editorial team this year. Patrick Allington has taken over as Book Reviews Editor, bringing to the task a wealth of experience as an editor and critic. I’m also most grateful for the support of all our editors. The journal has grown well beyond the scale where one person can deal with everything.
While this issue has no special theme, it is striking that many of the peer-reviewed
articles are concerned with gender issues. Muneer Aram Kuzhiyan
discusses the treatment of the concept of the veil in a novel by
the Malayalam writer Khadija Mumthas, while Anna Royal looks at
marginal characters central to Sharni Mootoo’s first novel,
Cereus Blooms at Night. Robyn Greaves devotes overdue attention
to Australian novelist Marion Halligan, and Aloka Patel turns her
attention to an Alice Munro short story, ‘Walker Brothers
Cowboy’, as a coming of age narrative. The other two peer-reviewed
papers in this issue include one by Wei H. Kao, concerning plays
by diasporic Irish dramatists, and the other, by Kenneth Usongo,
on the use of both African and Western rhetorical devices in a novel
by Cameroon writer Shadrach Ambanasom. In addition, we have a wide-ranging
review essay on World Literature by Russell McDougall, and a passionate
speech by Satendra Nandan given at the launch of A Country Too
Far, a collection of writings about asylum seekers in Australia.
More than thirty book reviews of creative and critical books, biographies, histories and memoirs are included in the May issue. We also include a translation of two poems by Karen dissident Tee Noe.
In the creative section we have several prose works by Australian writers, covering topics as diverse as Christmas holiday work in the Adelaide Post Office, the difficulties of coming to accept the Sudanese neighbours, and ethnographic research in Bangladesh. There is a poignant first-person account of euthanasia in an unusual setting, as well as a powerful story by Indian writer Sunil Sharma and a creative non-fiction piece by USSR-born US resident Dmitry Shlapentokh. Eight poets have contributed to the May issue. Our poetry editor, Heather Taylor Johnson, writes, ‘The poems are a really diverse bunch, ranging from the musings of travellers past and present, migrants considering home through the ocean’s scape, migrants considering home through the fence boundaries of the desert, migrants considering home through lineage, and a bird as a symbol of all of the above. What captures these poems most for me would be a line from Libby Hart’s poem, which reads: “each country carries your suitcase of songs”, so that the emphasis then is not on the displacement of the subject, but rather on the possibilities of belonging.’
What better note to conclude on? Please enjoy our May issue.
About Transnational Literature
Welcome to Transnational Literature, a freely accessible, fully refereed international
e-journal published twice a year by the Flinders Institute for Research
in the Humanities, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Transnational Literature evolved from the e-journal Quodlibet: the Australian Journal of Trans-national Literature, and before that the print CRNLE Reviews Journal,
published by the Centre for Research in New Literatures in English.
CRNLE was founded in 1977 by Dr Syd Harrex and was based in the
Department of English at Flinders University, South Australia. The
Centre promoted research into the literatures of India, Africa, the
Caribbean, Canada and Australia, and all parts of the world where
literature in English has been written. The Centre had a world-wide list
of associates and a long list of publications, and organised and
supported a number of conferences involved in the scholarly
investigation of the role of new literatures throughout the world.
Transnational Literature maintains a focus on new
literatures in English, but has expanded its portfolio to consider all
literatures that deal with cross-cultural contact and interaction.
Submissions on these areas are welcomed and writers are encouraged to
consult the Submissions link. Postgraduate and Honours students are encouraged to submit papers.