The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience

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9780896085459: The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience
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Contents

Overture Another Voice

Piecmeal Shelters

Piecemeal Shelters
Art of Pariahs
Language and Shame
Alphabets of Flesh
Passion
Skin Song
Whose House is This?
House of a thousand Doors
Hotel Alexandria
Sidi Syed's Architecture
Tangled Roots
Poem by the Wellside
Bobating
Her Garden
Erupting Words
Aunt Chinna
Coda from Night-Scene

Translating Violence

Bordering Ourselves
Her Mother's Words
Ashtamudi Lake
Translating Violence
Desert Rose
Estrangement Becomes the Mark of the Eagle
Accidental Markings
Great Brown River
The Storm: A Poem in Five Parts

Making Up Memory

That Other Body
'A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse...'
New World Aria
No Nation Woman
White Horseman Blues
Migrant Music
A Durable Past
Performing the Word
For Safdar Hashmi Beaten to death Just Outside Delhi
Moloyashree
Making Up Memory
Brief Chronicle by Candlelight
San Andreas Fault
The Shock of Arrival
Paper Filled with Light
Skins with Fire Inside: Indian Women Writers

Fracturing the Iconic Feminine
In Search of Sarojini Naidu

Coda

Theater of Sense
Aftermath: Title Search
Well Jumped Women

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About the Author:

Meena Alexander is Professor of English and Women's Studies at the Graduate Center and Hunter College, City University of New York, and Lecturer in Poetry in the Writing Program at Columbia University.

From Publishers Weekly:

Raised in Kerala and Khartoum, Alexander does not see herself as an American poet a la Robert Frost. Yet, as the 20th century draws to a close, what could be more American than these lines: "I am here in Isamu's garden, by an old warehouse,/ by a children's park, by the East River-rusty gasoline tanks, the/ packed cars of new immigrants, the barbed wires/ of Meerut, Bensonhurst, Baghdad, strung in my brain" Many of the poems and essays in this rich, provocative collection deal with classic immigrant themes of identity, language and dislocation. Alexander starts with intimate concerns-coming to grips with life in a female body, struggling to find an emotional home-but also speaks passionately on broader political themes. Her essay "Well-Jumped Women," about a poetry reading she gave in England for female Indian refugees from Uganda, deserves to become a feminist classic; "Translating Violence" spotlights Hindu-Muslim conflict transplanted to New Jersey. Essays on 21 female writers and insightful reviews of Asian American art add to the heady mix. For a language that was imposed on her as a child and about which she still professes ambivalence, English has served Alexander well. Her memoir Fault Lines was one of PW's best books of 1993, and her novel Nampally Road was a 1991 VLS Editor's Choice.

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