Ashok Rajamani, award-winning author of The Day My Brain Exploded, returns with IMAGINE CARNIVALESQUE, his explosive first book of bold and insightful literary criticism. Uncover the unconscious in South Asian literature through two psychoanalytical essays that deconstruct gender codes and sexuality within Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy, and the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata. From Rushdie's manic hunt for feminine rapaciousness, to Selvadurai's proclamations of liberation through same-sex love, to the fiery transgendered battles in India's grandest poem, IMAGINE CARNIVALESQUE vividly explores subcontinental writing and its libidinous secrets of subversion.
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About the Author
Ashok Rajamani is an internationally published author, poet, artist, essayist, radio host, and activist, and Telly-Award winner in New York City. Heralded by Barnes & Noble as one of the "Great New Writers of 2013", his writings and art have appeared in dozens of publications, including Scholars & Rogues, Danse Macabre, 3:AM Magazine, and multiple ezines. He has also been host for Brain Injury Radio worldwide. He belongs to the Authors Guild, New York Writers Coalition, Asian American Writers Workshop, and South Asian Journalists Association. He was a keynote speaker at the 2014 United Nations International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy, and has also given talks at multiple venues, including Barnes & Noble (four locations, four solo readings), Decatur Book Festival, Brain Injury Association of America, Asian American Writer's Workshop and many more. In 2000, at the age of 25, he suffered a sudden, near-fatal, massive cerebral hemorrhagic stroke due to an undetected birth defect. Though surviving, he was left with lifelong bisected blindness, epilepsy, distorted hearing, erratic transient amnesia, metal staples in his brain, and ultimately, a carved skull courtesy of open brain surgery. The final consequence of his body's very own 9-11: an irreverent and decidedly unconventional memoir about a day that exploded not only his brain, but the world around him, entitled THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY. The memoir has received worldwide acclaim, hailed by multiple global media outlets, including Publisher's Weekly, Harper's Magazine, The Times of India, Washington Post, Booklist, The Atlantic Monthly, BBC, and more. In addition to the memoir, which is his first book, Ashok has been a featured writer in other books/journals/magazines including: South Asian Review, Three Line Poetry, Mantram, Catamaran, 50 Haikus, and Monsters of the Rue Macabre. (See "books" page for list of all publications.) Following his hemorrhage, he became a proud brain injury rights advocate, and is a board member of the International Brain Injury Survivors Network, headline author at "Brain Injury Warriors" NYC event, and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Brain Injury Association of America. A self-acknowledged Hindu hick, Ashok grew up in a town near a cornfield in Illinois, before fleeing to The Big Apple at the age of 17, where he's lived ever since. He is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, where he received his Journalism degree with Kappa Tau Alpha honors. He attended Columbia University for advanced cultural studies.