A Few Random Notes

Some links to book news I found interesting over the past week:

  • Traveling Pants author Ann Brashares has written a…time travel dystopian novel? It’s called The Here and Now, and you can read about it…now. On NPR.
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez isn’t the only notable author we lost this month. Perhaps lesser known, if no less important for other reasons, we lost Doris Pilkington Garimara, who wrote the book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. The NY Times wrote up a nice tribute and discussed the importance of her writing in the context of aboriginal writing in Australia, as well as the shocking discrimination that mixed-race aboriginal children faced for decades.
  • When we think about Pakistan these days, the first words that come to mind are not necessarily CREATIVITY or PLURALISM or LITERATURE. And that’s sad. Luckily, there are determined souls in Pakistan trying to change that–and over 45,000 people turned out as a result, enjoying the intellectual and artistic atmosphere of the Lahore Literary Festival. This quote from historian Ayesha Jalal really struck me:

“If you look at Latin America, you’ll see that art has flourished in the most coercive, authoritarian regimes,” Jalal says. “And Pakistan is no different. I think collective failure is matched often by personal, individual success, spectacular success. Those are not unusual. … And in Pakistan I think we’ve had a collective failure on many scores and there have been individuals who have done work of great brilliance, in the world of art, in the world of literature and music.”

I find that incredibly heartening. As someone with Pakistani/Indian heritage on my father’s side, I want to feel like the great artistic legacy that has existed in that region in the past is still encouraged, because that’s part of my own artistic heritage.

  • Last but not least, the latest issue of UC Santa Barbara’s Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies is available for free online.

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Comments

  1. Oh, my goodness, I hadn't heard that Doris Pilkington Garimara had died. I remember seeing the movie Rabbit Proof Fence and going back to find out EVERYTHING I COULD about her work.

    Also, yay Pakistan!!! Ayesha Jalal is right… Latin America has produced some diamonds from having their collective artistic "coal" pressed beyond belief.

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