Saturday, May 28, 2011

Phil Marchand Reviews The Meagre Tarmac

Just in from BEA in New York, an exciting if absolutely exhausting stretch away from the office, of which more anon. But I wanted to draw your attention to today's Post Review of Clark Blaise's The Meagre Tarmac (of which more anon.) Phil Marchand starts:

The Meagre Tarmac, a collection of short fiction by Clark Blaise, is a naked instance of appropriation of voice — a literary felony justified in this case by the results. If you’re going to appropriate someone’s voice, you better know how you want that voice to sound, and Blaise has spent his life and his career tuning his ear to foreign rhythms. Born in North Dakota of a French Canadian father and English Canadian mother, he grew up in various locales, mostly in the United States, and then spent 12 years teaching in Montreal with his wife, the Calcutta-born novelist Bharati Mukherjee. After a brief stint in Toronto, he and Mukherjee moved back to the U.S., where they have remained since. In 1989, he became director of the International Writing School at the University of Iowa.

Enriched by experience, knowledge of variegated literatures and personal contacts, Blaise’s fiction spans the globe, exploring themes of diaspora, rootlessness and cultural identity. Two great historic cultural shifts in particular drive his work, the migration of French Canadians on this continent, and the struggle between tradition and modernity in contemporary India. The latter is the basis of The Meagre Tarmac, a sorrowful chorus of voices, men and women trying to bridge distances between India and the U.S.

To read the whole review, please go here.

1 comment: said...

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