An Ongoing, Erratic Diary
|6 July 2012, 1:59 PM|
|So far today: tea, walked, tea, breakfast, reading, e-mail & Facebook, tea, looked at first chapter of AP again and found it good, lunch, gym (weights + swim), tea.
I am pretty sure that I've published the first chapter in print, although sadly, my copy of the issues of Catamaran I think it's in (the Sri Lankan issue) is lost and possibly destroyed. It's here, if you're curious what I'm working on; I think it works pretty well as a stand-alone, as well as the first chapter of the book.
Trying to track down the issue online, I did find the relevant intro material from Samir Dayal for that issue, and aside from calling it fiction (instead of nonfiction), I think he did a pretty good job of pulling apart some of what I'm trying to do:
"The excerpt from an ongoing work of fiction by Mary Anne Mohanraj, The Arrival, also presents this violence, albeit as a backdrop for the story of a diasporic woman’s return to Sri Lanka. This is an intimate story, in every sense of the word. Given the context of the traditional nuclear South Asian family, it is also remarkable for the way in which this story presents unorthodox romantic arrangements in a matter-of-fact way: this mat- ter-of-factness is itself a political act, for it demands that readers accept as normal behavior what would be seen as extraordinary in traditional South Asian societies. The third partner of the authorial persona’s former ménage- à-trois, Karina, will meet her on her arrival, we are told, but it is not clear even to her what she wants from Karina, or why she’s arranged to meet her in Sri Lanka. She wants to write about a female member of the LTTE, the Tamil Tigers, but this woman too remains at the margins of this story (admittedly it is only a small piece of the larger project). But a certain authorial signature appears even in this “thin slice” of the whole story, as Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink, might have put it. Even in such a thin slice of the whole, we can get a sense of the style and substance of Mohanraj’s larger project. The style is calculatedly understated, again because the story wants to unsettle received ideas about sexual politics, immigration policies and political ideologies in its traverse between North America and Sri Lanka."Right, that's what I want to do. Part of it, anyway. We'll see how it goes. I admit, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.
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