Transnational Literature


Transnational Literature

Volume 2, Issue 1
November 2009
Literary Migrations

Letter from the Guest Editor

Welcome to ‘Literary Migrations’, a special issue of Transnational Literature. Although we are well past the heyday of literary and cultural theory, frameworks such as post-colonial studies still have enormous explanatory and analytical power when applied to contemporary problems, issues and debates. Ania Loomba and colleagues have demonstrated that even though we may be considered to be ‘beyond’ postcolonial studies, an understanding of the origins of the field is necessary for exploring ‘this moment of doubt, renewal and expansion for postcolonial studies’.1 This is certainly true in studies of literature from formerly colonised (and colonising) spaces.

This relevance of theory to practice was clearly evident in the Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities conference, held at Flinders University on 3-5 December, 2007. Delegates to this conference will have warm memories of hundreds of people attending lively and engaging sessions, many of which utilised or engaged directly with post-colonial perspectives. Since many of the papers presented at this conference have been published in a variety of outlets (including a special issue of FULGOR), it was natural that Transnational Literature act as a home for papers which pertain so directly to the journal’s themes.

Despite these thematic similarities, the papers in this issue reflect the diversity of the global cultural landscape. On the one hand we have an exploration of hybrid cultural identity through the new poetry of Macau, and on the other an analysis of the reception and (re-)interpretation of foundational Conquest narratives in Latin America. Post-colonial analyses of novels traverse Singapore and India (J.G. Farrell and Amitav Ghosh) as well as the United States and Japan (Don DeLillo and Haruki Murakami). We are also privileged to read transformations of genre as two authors combine scholarly cultural analysis with creative non-fiction in telling the story of a migrant family in Australia, and the history and cultural memory of the Jewish diaspora in South Africa.

Continuing in this vein of progressive academic publishing, this issue has several pieces of creative non-fiction as well as stories and poems which relate to the special issue’s themes. Continuing the strong tradition of publishing reviews which goes back to the CRNLE Reviews Journal, there are many reviews which pertain to the issue’s themes, as well as more general reviews. Finally we have the sad duty of publishing a tribute to Meenakshi Mukherjee, a member the journal’s editorial board.

In having the honour of guest editing this issue of the journal, there are several people I need to thank. First and foremost I would like to thanks the authors of the articles and other pieces, whose hard work and commitment to the project made it possible at all. Similarly, the peer reviewers provided excellent feedback and quality control, and made the issue the best it could be. Thanks also to Lyn Leader-Elliot for her monumental efforts in making the original conference such a success (and for supporting the launch); thanks to Gillian Dooley for helping me along the process (especially uploading the final articles) and for organising all the non-refereed pieces; to Rebecca Vaughan for lending her keen eye to copyediting, and to Lisa Bennett for designing a characteristically artistic flyer for the launch. Finally, thanks to you, the reader, for taking the time to sample what the issue has to offer: we believe you will be richly rewarded.

Chad Habel, November, 2009

1Ania Loomba, Suvir Kaul, Matti Bunzl, Antoinette Burton and Jed Esty (eds), Postcolonial Studies and Beyond, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005) 19.


Literary Migrations  
Peer-Reviewed Articles:  
Jane Hanley Bernal Díaz del Castillo and the Reimagining of Colonial Mythologies
Christopher Kelen hybrid talk in mongrel townquestions of identity in the cross-cultural space of the new Macao poetry
David Palmer Last Days of Empire: DeLillo's America and Murakami's Japan
Eleni Pavlides The Un-Australian Condition: An Essay in Four Parts
Michael C. Prusse Imaginary Pasts: Colonisation, Migration and Loss in J.G. Farrell’s The Singapore Grip and in Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace
Phyllis Sakinofsky Shaping the Jewish South African Story: Imprints of Memories, Shadows and Silences
Short Stories:  
Sybil Baker Talismans
Leah Kaminsky Tahirih
Creative Non-Fiction:  
Etiennette Fennell Of Bishops and Pasties
Sukhmani Khorana Diasporic Dispersals and Convergences: The Creative Trajectory of a PhD Project
Heather Taylor Johnson The Fooseball Table
Ian Gibbins Space Invaders
Deb Matthews-Zott The Enemy
Mark O’Flynn Lucca
Nathanael O’Reilly Symptoms of Homesickness
Ian C. Smith Stranded
Reviews: Memoirs and Creative writing
Gillian Dooley Wings of the Kite-Hawk by Nicolas Rothwell (2nd ed.)
Elizabeth Holdsworth The Celebrated George Barrington by Nathan Garvey
Denise MacLeod Brother I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Antonio Pagliaro Oh Lucky Country by Rosa Cappiello
Anne-Marie Smith Fatherhood by Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen
Reviews: History, Biography and Criticism
Lyn Jacobs Journey Without Arrival: The Life and Writing of Vincent Buckley by John McLaren
Gay Lynch Ancestral Narratives: Irish Australian Identities in History and Fiction by Chad Habel
Eric Richards Britishness Abroad: Transnational Movements and Imperial Culture ed. Kate Darian-Smith, Patricia Grimshaw and Stuart Macintyre
Christine Runnel Embracing the Other: Addressing Xenophobia in the New Literatures in English ASNEL Papers 11, ed. Dunja M. Mohr
Evan Smith Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities Paul Allatson & Jo McCormack
Humphrey Tranter Brief Encounters by Susannah Fullerton

Tribute to Meenakshi Mukherjee

Reviews: Memoirs and Creative writing
Peter F. Alexander A Fork in the Road: A Memoir by André Brink
Elizabeth Holdsworth The Portrait by Willem Jan Otten
Ben Kooyman The Salati Case by Tobias Jones
Robert Lumsden This is how by M.J. Hyland
Michael Savvas Words from Table One ed. Charles Gent and Alex Hope
Ruth Starke Jetty Road by Cath Kenneally
Heather Taylor Johnson Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature ed. Anita Heiss and Peter Minter
Debra Zott Readings from the Little Yellow Book by Charles Crompton (Shaggy Doo Beats)
Reviews: History, Biography and Criticism
Sue Anderson The City’s Outback by Gillian Cowlishaw
Paul Burger The City of Words: Understanding Civilisation through Story by Alberto Manguel
  Friday on our Minds: Popular Culture in Australia since 1945 by Michelle Arrow
  Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000-2005 by J.M. Coetzee
Gillian Dooley Interview with Joris Luyendijk, author of Fit to Print: Misrepresenting the Middle East
Md. Rezaul Haque Re-Thinking Europe: Literature and (Trans) National Identity ed. Nele Bemong, Mirjam Truwant, and Pieter Vermeulen
Andrew Herpich Reading Literature After Deconstruction by Robert Lumsden
Eleni Pavlides Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
Noel Purdon The Letters of George & Elizabeth Bass by Miriam Estensen
Ian Reid The Cambridge History of Australian Literature ed. Peter Pierce
Jo Anne Rey Writing the Nation: Patrick White and the Indigene by Cynthia vanden Driesen
Emily Sutherland How to Write History that People Want to Read by Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath, and Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration, ed. Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath
Debra Zott Cutting Rhythms: Shaping the Film Edit by Karen Pearlman




ISSN 1836-4845




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