This anthology of literary and dramatic works introduces writers from across Asia and the Asian diaspora. The landscapes and time periods it describes are rich and varied: a fishing village on the Padma River in Bangladesh in the early twentieth century, the slums of prewar Tokyo, Indonesia during the anti-leftist purge of the 1960s, and contemporary Tibet. Even more varied are the voices these works bring to life, which serve as testimony to the lives of those adversely impacted by poverty, rapid social change, political suppression, and armed conflict. In the end, the works in this anthology convey an attitude of spiritual and communal survival and even of hope.
This anthology presents the complex dynamic between a diversity of Asian lives and the universalized concept of the individual “human” entitled to clearly specified “rights.” It also asks us to think about what standards of analysis we should employ when considering a historical period in which universal human rights and civil liberties are considered secondary to the collective good, as has so often been the case when nation states are undergoing revolutionary change, waging war, or championing so-called Asian values.
This book’s use of the term Global Asia reflects an interest in rethinking “Asia” as more than an area determined by national borders and geography. Rather, this book portrays it as a space of movement and fluidity, where societies and individuals respond not only to their local frames of reference, but also to broader ideas and ideals.
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About the Author
Theodore W. Goossen is professor of humanities at York University and founding member of the Department of Contemporary Literary Studies at the University of Tokyo.
Anindo Hazra is a PhD candidate in English at York University.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Theodore W. Goossen and Anindo Hazra, editors
1.A Life in Transit by Noor Zaheer, translated by Arun P. Mukherjee
2.The Hallucinatory World of Aoge by Liao Zixin, translated by Gordon Anderson
3.Sri Sumarah by Umar Kayam, translated by John H. McGlynn
4.Tamil poems by Cheran, V.I.S. Jayapalan and Puthuvai Ratnathurai, translated by Nedra
5.Red Dates by Yuasa Katsue, translated by Jooyeon Rhee
6.Into the Light by Kim Saryang, translated by Theodore W. Goossen
7.Tibetan poems by Ju Kalsang and Poets 1–8, translated by Françoise Robin
8.The Padma River Boatman (excerpt) by Manik Bandopadhyaya, translated by Barbara Painter and Yann Lovelock
9.Voice Upon Voice (abridged) by Lena Simanjuntak and Teater Perempuan Independen, translated by Michael Bodden and Saraswati Sunindyo
10.From the Diaspora: poems by Sheniz Janmohamed and Bushra Rehman