Amritjit Singh on the South Asian American Issue

We’re honored to have this endorsement for CQR’s new South Asian American Issue from Amritjit Singh, Langston Hughes Professor of English, Ohio University:

“This rich collection of short stories, poems, and creative non-fiction not only achieves Guest Editor Moazzam Sheikh’s goals but also displays the complex issues of identity and language, diaspora and migration, culture and history, gender and sexuality, experienced today by South Asian American writers. Immigrant identities are almost always in flux, but in their century-old presence in North America, South Asians have not settled on one particular approach to their diverse lives. This “unruly bunch” loves “to talk, argue, holler,” not always choosing to learn from other ethnic and racial histories. Readers, South Asians and others, will have a chance to discover themselves in the voices they hear in these pages.” 

Manil Suri on the upcoming South Asian American Issue

“In a time of mounting distrust of foreign cultures and unprecedented attacks against immigrants, this sweeping collection of writing by a new wave of South Asian writers is an antidote that both transports and illuminates. The irrepressible voices within rage against widely diverse assumptions and stereotypes and yet unite to remind us of the universality of the human condition.” –Manil Suri

Publishers Weekly reviews My Postwar Life

My Postwar Life: New Writings from Japan and Okinawa
Edited by Elizabeth McKenzie. Chicago Quarterly Review Books (, $19.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-0-9847788-0-5

This engaging anthology of short fiction, essays, poetry, photography, and more illuminates the interconnected past of the U.S. and Japan, from WWII up to 2011’s earthquake. Ryuta Imafuku’s essay, “Nagasaki. And Scattered Islets of Time,” is a walk through the suspended reality of post-atomic Nagasaki, accompanied by Shomei Tomatsu’s powerful photos of burn victims, detritus, and seared bamboo stalks. Deni Y. Béchard’s story, “The Deleted Line,” tells of Yukio, a translator who censors a textbook regarding the Battle of Okinawa and is subsequently reprimanded by an old karate master, who explains that to erase the past is “like saying we must let go of our minds, of our spirits.” “The Emperor and the Mayor” is Stephen Woodhams’ candid interview with Hitoshi Motoshima, former mayor of Nagasaki, who was castigated by some for blaming Emperor Shōwa for Japan’s role in WWII. Hiroshi Fukurai’s “Disaster Memories” investigates the radioactive threat of the recently damaged Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, and Noboru Tokuda’s beautifully illustrated diary from his stint as a young soldier in the Imperial Army during WWII is particularly moving. McKenzie’s (MacGregor Tells the World) collection is a stunning testament to a country’s literal rise from the ashes–casual readers and academics alike will find many of these selections rewarding and informative. Photos & illus. (Sept.)


Book Review: The Resurrection of the Body, by Armando Maggi

The Resurrection of the Body: Pier Paolo Pasolini from Saint Paul to Sade, by Armando Maggi, (University of Chicago Press, 2009) is an extremely rigorous study of Pasolini’s final works: the screenplay Saint Paul, the scenario for Porn-Theo-Colossal, the immense and unfinished novel Petrolio, and his notorious final film, Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom, an adaptation of the writings of the Marquis de Sade.

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