Tag: Diaspora

Free Is and Free Ain’t

Are novelists who write about slavery reminding us of its ongoing effects, or using the past to illuminate problems specific to the present? Are they arguing that slavery never stopped shaping ...

What’s in a Face?

According to Jewish tradition, before each of us was born, we were visited by an angel who taught us all that is known and all that will be known. We were wise, in utero. And then, in the very last ...

Afrofuturism: Everything and Nothing

Whence the “Afro” in “Afrofuturism”? In the 1994 interview with Samuel R. Delaney that inaugurated the term, Mark Dery defines Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African American themes ...

A Map of Lost Longings

This is an archive. I’ve found the remains of his voice, that map of longings with no limit. —Agha Shahid Ali, “The Country without a Post Office” It has been a peculiar month to be an Indian ...

Illegals

At the height of the refugee crisis in Germany, the following slogans made their appearance on the Hamburg streets: Wir sind alle illegal (We are all illegal) paired with Kein mensch ist illegal (No ...

O My Swineherd!

The last century may have ushered in an epoch of wars that have no end, but Homer’s Odyssey continues to inspire. You do not have to be James Joyce or Derek Walcott to find the story of a man’s ...

For the Love of Israel

In 1963, after the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem, Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt exchanged a series of tense letters. Scholem, a renowned scholar of Jewish mysticism and himself a critic of ...

Lahiri, High and Low

Before beginning graduate school, I promised myself that I would never write about Jhumpa Lahiri. I had studied Lahiri’s debut novel, The Namesake (2003), in a maddening undergraduate literature ...

Ordinary People

Edwidge Danticat has a way of making small lives tell big stories. Gently and quietly, she writes the outrageous and compels us, her readers, to become intimate with tragedies that are at once ...

A Study in African Realism

We are pleased to accompany Ian Baucom’s review of Americanah with video of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in conversation with Professor Baucom and PhD student Ainehi Edoro at a public event hosted by ...

Giving Birth to a Country

In NoViolet Bulawayo’s shattering debut novel, We Need New Names, proper nouns contain continents. Paradise is the ironically named Zimbabwean shantytown where the book’s ten-year-old protagonist and ...

Where Fragile Things Die

In 2005, long before Taiye Selasi was being hailed for her fiction writing as “a totally new and near perfect voice,” she published a brief online essay that sought to define the emerging cohort of ...

When the Diaspora Is Enuf

Quiet as it’s kept, some of us colored-girl creative-writer types kept our cool circa 2006 when that gelato-dripping, Gita-flipping, Bali-bossa-nova-ing best seller Eat, Pray, Love went multi ...

To Lose Everything (To War)

“What is it like to lose everything?” the young protagonist of Stephen Dau’s first novel, The Book of Jonas, is asked again and again by those hoping to fathom his experience of losing his entire ...