Expertise, personal experience and fantasy combine to fill this month's bookshelf, including an ode to J.M. Barrie, an expert's take on the Haitian Revolution, a holiday memoir, and a supernatural tale set in China.
Hundred Ghost Soup
A Beijing orphan is nearly eighteen. He wants a family and a name, if only for a while. He hacks adoption papers to get them. He also gets, after a long train ride into an empty station in a ghost town, ghosts. Their leaders, calling themselves Mr. and Mrs. Vulpin, are his new parents. They are illusion-casting fox spirits, glamorous, clever, and trapped. They need him to free themselves of the ghosts. Our hero works for them and accepts their flaws so long as they pretend to be a family. But then he discovers their wonderful meals are illusory. Are the Vulpins up to no good? And the People's Republic of China will never allow spirits to possess a town. To save them all, he must travel back to Beijing, rifle the Politburo's files, and find a Minister's secrets. When he kindles the wrath of the People's Liberation Army and the Minister of Fate himself, he must penetrate layers of illusions, decide whom he can trust, and learn to cook. And then there is the matter of the soup's main ingredient: him.
|Author||Silvia Herreros de Tejada|
|Degree||General and Comparative Literature|
La Mano Izquierda de Peter Pan
1916-1937: The writer James Matthew Barrie, after the enormous success of Peter Pan, falls into a deep creative crisis and hires a new secretary, Lady Cynthia Asquith, an English aristocrat. They form a relationship beyond their professional lives, becoming lovers, relatives, colleagues and life partners. Barrie's writer's block is then cured by starting to write with his left hand, resulting in far more sinister thoughtd being written down.
2010: Two professors, David, Spanish, and Moira, North American, investigate the original Barrie manuscripts at the Beinecke Library of Yale University. They are preparing for a conference that will celebrate, in several places across Scotland, the 150th anniversary of the birth of the writer. They compete with each other to obtain the authorship of the official book of the congress. Moira is an expert on Cynthia Asquith, a little-known writer. To David, a specialist in Peter Pan, a seemingly outlandish hypothesis comes to mind: what if Barrie, out of love, wrote the alleged work of Cynthia Asquith with his left hand? Moira completely opposed this view. Both, in their forties, are somewhat disillusioned with their lives and project in Cynthia and Barrie everything they dare not do in real life.
The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination
The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) reshaped the debates about slavery and freedom throughout the Atlantic world, accelerated the abolitionist movement, precipitated rebellions in neighboring territories, and intensified both repression and antislavery sentiment. The story of the birth of the world’s first independent black republic has since held an iconic fascination for a diverse array of writers, artists, and intellectuals throughout the Atlantic diaspora. Examining twentieth-century responses to the Haitian Revolution, Philip Kaisary offers a profound new reading of the representation of the Revolution by radicals and conservatives alike in primary texts that span English, French, and Spanish languages and that include poetry, drama, history, biography, fiction, and opera.
In a complementary focus on canonical works by Aimé Césaire, C. L. R. James, Edouard Glissant, and Alejo Carpentier in addition to the work of René Depestre, Langston Hughes, and Madison Smartt Bell, Kaisary argues that the Haitian Revolution generated an enduring cultural and ideological inheritance. He addresses critical understandings and fictional reinventions of the Revolution and thinks through how, and to what effect, authors of major diasporic texts have metamorphosed and appropriated this spectacular corner of black revolutionary history.
Ian M Malcolm
A Holiday in Provence
An Enormous Reckless Blunder: The Story of the Lewis Chemical Works
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