Category Archives: Ethnicity

Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler: Kindred

March 6, 2013 His middle name is Kindred.   Philip Kindred Dick. I find that hard to believe.   How could anyone’s middle name be a capsule summary of a large body of work still to be written? Do Androids … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Canada, Contemporary literature, Ethnicity, Science fiction, slavery, Twentieth century literature | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ishmael Reed’s Canada: black, Jewish, indigenous

February 20, 2013 Ishmael Reed isn’t into tragedy, so Flight to Canada is funny about the African-American presence up North. Raven Quickskill is there of course, having flown in “non-stop/ Jumbo jet this A.M.  Had Champagne/ Compliments of the Cap’n/ … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Black-Jewish alliances, Canada, Climate change, Environmentalism, Ethnicity, indigenous communities, planet, slavery, Twentieth century literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Leslie Silko: The Chinese Connection

February 6, 2012 In 1985 Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Leslie Silko traveled together to China, going up the Li River in a boat. Kingston and Silko have now come out with new books — Kingston, I Love a … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Afro-Asian alliances, Animals, Asia, Autobiography, China, Chinese art, collaboration, Comparative literature, Ethnicity, Native American language, Native-American literature, Twentieth century literature, Visual arts, world literature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jane Austen’s Philadelphia, Toni Morrison’s Denver

January 30, 2013 2013  is the bicentennial of Pride and Prejudice, so I’ve been learning new things about Jane Austen — for instance, the fact that her aunt was named Philadelphia, Phila for short.  Phila never saw Philadelphia; no, at … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Cities, Classics, collaboration, Contemporary novel, Ethnicity, Race, slavery, Twentieth century literature, Vernacular dialects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ntozake Shange, Alice B. Toklas: What Cooks Know

January 23, 2013 “The first effable gazpacho was served to us in Malaga,”  Alice notes.   She and Gertrude Stein would also find “entirely different but equally exquisite” versions of the that soup in Seville and Cordoba, cities once under Islamic … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, Cities, Contemporary novel, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Global South, Greek, Islam, Mediterranean, Middle East, Polish, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ralph Ellison, Marianne Moore: Yams and Nectarines

January 16, 2013 The yams are as real as anything in Invisible Man.   The mere smell of them sends a “stab of swift nostalgia” coursing through the protagonist.   The years of his life seem so many yams eaten: candied, … Continue reading

Posted in African-American literature, China, Chinese art, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Gender, lyric, Poetry, Twentieth century literature | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mangoes: Richard Blanco, Sandra Cisneros

January 9, 2013 Conceived in Cuba, born in Spain, raised and educated in Miami– that’s Richard Blanco, as described by the inaugural planners. What poem would he be reciting on January 20? It’s not so easy to guess based on … Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Cities, Contemporary literature, Cuba, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Food in literature, Global South, Latino/a literature, Poetry, Spanglish, Vernacular dialects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shankar, Coltrane, Whitman: Within You, Without You

December 12, 2012 2012 is full of deaths at the year’s end.  Dave Brubeck last week; this week, Ravi Shankar. Shankar was half an American musician (the fractions don’t have to add up to a zero-sum game).  Since 1970 he … Continue reading

Posted in Afro-Asian alliances, Asia, Cities, collaboration, Diaspora, Educational institutions, Ethnicity, Global South, India, jazz, Music, Nineteenth-century literature, Poetry, public universities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Louise Erdrich, Kurt Vonnegut: Germany’s Wars

November 21, 2012 There is a longer title to Kurt Vonnegut’s famous novel: “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty Dance with Death, by Kurt Vonnegut, a Fourth-Generation German-American Now Living in Easy Circumstances on Cape Cod [and Smoking Too … Continue reading

Posted in Atlantic, Cities, Contemporary novel, Ethnicity, French language, German language, mixed races, Native American language, Native-American literature, Race, Vernacular dialects, Wars, World history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sherman Alexie, Walt Whitman: Hoop Dreams

November 14, 2012 When Stephen Colbert pointed out with incredulity that he had come out with yet another book, Sherman Alexie said, “That’s what happens when you’re literate.” Yes, from reading to writing: it’s as easy as that, as inevitable. … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, collaboration, contemporary poetry, Ethnicity, Genre, Media, mixed races, Modernist poetry, Native-American literature, Nineteenth-century literature, peripheral networks, print medium, Remediation, Remix, Sports, Television, Twentieth century literature, YouTube videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment