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Bharati Mukherjee (1940–2017)

Autor(a) de Jasmine

17+ Works 3,020 Membros 90 Críticas 7 Favorited

About the Author

Bharati Mukherjee was born in Calcutta, India on July 27, 1940. She received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Calcutta in 1959 and a master's degree from the University of Baroda in 1961. After sending six stories to the University of Iowa, she was accepted into the Iowa mostrar mais Writers' Workshop. She received an M.F.A. in 1963 and a doctorate in comparative literature in 1969 from the University of Iowa. She married fellow student Clark Blaise, a Canadian author, in 1963. They moved to Montreal in 1966, where she taught English at McGill University. They moved back to the United States in 1980. After teaching creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, and Queens College, she taught postcolonial and world literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She wrote numerous books during her lifetime including The Tiger's Daughter, Wife, Darkness, Jasmine, The Holder of the World, Desirable Daughters, The Tree Bride, and Miss New India. In 1988, The Middleman and Other Stories won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. She died from complications of rheumatoid arthritis and takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a stress-induced heart condition, on January 28, 2017 at the age of 76. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Bharati Mukherjee

Image credit: Photo by Chip Cooper

Obras por Bharati Mukherjee

Jasmine (1989) 838 exemplares
Desirable Daughters (2002) 470 exemplares
The Holder of the World (1993) 440 exemplares
The Middleman and Other Stories (1988) 395 exemplares
Miss New India (2011) 225 exemplares
Leave It to Me (1997) 183 exemplares
The Tree Bride (2004) 180 exemplares
Wife (1975) 108 exemplares
Tiger's Daughter (1972) 88 exemplares
Darkness (1985) 66 exemplares
Orbiting 1 exemplar

Associated Works

The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contribuidor — 1,132 exemplares
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (1992) — Contribuidor — 747 exemplares
Sudden Fiction International: Sixty Short-Short Stories (1989) — Contribuidor — 213 exemplares
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Contribuidor — 212 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1989 (1989) — Contribuidor — 189 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories of the 80s (1990) — Contribuidor — 163 exemplares
Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession (2015) — Contribuidor — 141 exemplares
Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural (1998) — Contribuidor — 138 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1987 (1987) — Contribuidor — 129 exemplares
From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories (1990) — Contribuidor — 129 exemplares
The Writer on Her Work, Volume II: New Essays in New Territory (1730) — Contribuidor — 124 exemplares
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories (1996) — Contribuidor — 114 exemplares
The Oxford Book of Canadian Short Stories in English (1986) — Contribuidor — 111 exemplares
Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers (2004) — Contribuidor — 99 exemplares
Braided Lives: An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing (1991) — Contribuidor — 85 exemplares
On a Bed of Rice (1995) — Contribuidor — 78 exemplares
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (2003) — Contribuidor — 68 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1985 (1985) — Contribuidor — 61 exemplares
The Killing Spirit : An Anthology of Murder for Hire (1996) — Contribuidor — 33 exemplares
Asian-American Literature: An Anthology (2000) — Contribuidor — 30 exemplares
Into the Widening World: International Coming-of-Age Stories (1995) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
Race: An Anthology in the First Person (1997) — Contribuidor — 28 exemplares
Once Upon a Childhood: Stories and Memories of American Youth (2004) — Contribuidor — 15 exemplares
The Playboy Book of Short Stories (1995) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares
Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories (Signet Classics) (2009) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares
Leave to Stay: Stories of Exile and Belonging (1996) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Críticas

Jasmine Vijh, widowed in India at 17, flees to America. This is the story of her daring travels, her painful yet exhilarating cross-cultural metamorphosis and, eventually, the home she finds in Iowa where she accepts how inextricably her fate has become part of America's.[return][return]Deceptively simple, lots of cultural differences, and Jasmine's struggle to find her way to and in a foreign country
 
Assinalado
nordie | 16 outras críticas | Oct 14, 2023 |
Mukherjee's novel is a fantastic journey not through history, per se, but about the aspects of the personal that inform history and its varied tellings. Many of the reviews I've read of The Holder of the World that were negative seemed to be expecting a historical fiction; this is far from Mukherjee's intention here. Indeed, she is questioning the very notion of history itself in how the narrator constructs the past of her seventeenth-century ancestor, Hannah, whose very name is palindrome, implying that she can be read in the same way from any vantage point. But this is not what the narrator discovers: Mukherjee's text is a collage of other texts from the narrator's trips to archival sources to journal entries (some from texts that actually exist, some from texts that do not exist at all), from intertextual allusions to Hawthorne and Rowlandson to a juxtaposition of different ways to retrieve and assess different kinds of information and build histories from them—e.g. the narrator's archival quest versus her partner's computerized experiments in mapping memory and time.

As a novel about history, this is wonderfully written, engaging, and compelling; the fractured and fragmented narrative—which sometimes jumps back and forth in time rapidly and lacks an overall cohesiveness—can be dizzying at first, but this is part of its structural integrity. The project of building one's history is never linear, and Mukherjee's project in bringing colonial America into dialogue with colonial England—and placing Hannah in the direct center of the Native Americans and native Indians as she journeys throughout her life—is a sophisticated attempt to discuss how power and narrative can be subverted. Not only are the stereotypical traits assigned to race and mapped on to gender at play here, with Hannah navigating her way through them, but these "negative" attributes are actually sources of freedom, movement, and liberation, both for this seventeenth-century woman and for the narrator who is intent on constructing this woman's history.

The source material is varied and rich; the historical settings are always visceral and enhanced by archival material—whether real or not, as Mukherjee seems to want to get the reader involved in questioning whether all truths are necessary in constructing a history or histories. I really enjoyed the book, and would highly recommend it to those interested in the problematical task of writing and constructing personal and cultural histories, and how the same problems at work in these attempts to reach back through time are also at play in the time period in questioning, allowing for a concurrent analysis of power, class, race, gender, and imperialism to take place while still conducting a very personal project close to one's heart.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
proustitute | 7 outras críticas | Apr 2, 2023 |
Had I not been held captive in a stifling, airless bedroom of a beach bungalow in Zanzibar by the worst sunburn I’ve ever had in my life AND a foot aching from sea urchin spines, I doubt I would have had the wherewithal to make it through this. As it was: “Thanks, Ms Mukherjee. You only added to my misery.”

Trying to do too much in a short novel is the fate of any writer who really lacks the ability to write well. If you can write prose like Alessandro Barrico, Virginia Woolf or Colm Toibin, you can easily achieve mastery of your literary mission in under 200 pages. If you’re Mukherjee, you cannot. In fact, she should not.

Having said that, I wouldn’t have wanted her to have to pull another 200 pages of printer paper off the shelf to make this one work. Her writing jumps around all over the place, can’t make up its mind if it is history of sci-fi or romance or whatever.

Having completed it, I was somewhat surprised to find that it’s supposed to be a retelling of Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. Quite why a novelist with the output of Hawthorne needs to be retold, I have no idea. I also had no idea while reading Holder that Mukherjee was retelling that particular narrative such was the success of the attempt. Simply having your protagonist name her daughter Pearl is insufficient.

The prose is turgid, completely opaque at points and completely banal at others. Here’s an example of the opaque:

Before this longing, she had conceived of emptiness as absence, detectable only by the circumference within which it was contained. Now the void became a pleasure-filled pain subsuming all the old salient virtues such as duty and compassion

I’ve re-read that enough times to know that I can’t wring any more meaning than none from it. Horrendous.

And here’s an example of the banal:

Hannah shrieked, even though she didn’t know she had until she heard the shriek herself.

There are two things wrong with this. Firstly, sound travels at 343 metres per second and let’s say she has a fairly large head to give her the benefit of the doubt. That means it that the period of ignorance Mukherjee is referring to last less than half a thousandth of a second. Hardly worth referring to.

Secondly, and worse still, the subordinating conjunction “even though” implies that the shrieking happened despite her not hearing it which is meaningless at best. Whether or not you hear yourself shriek does not in any way determine whether you shriek or not.

Sadly, what Mukherjee lacks in her ability to write she also lacks in her ability to construct a coherent novel. Every single reference to a modern-day researcher of artifacts (who exactly has that job description?) and her live-in lover who is attempting a time-travel experiment could be excised from the book and it would actually improve it. It has zero relevance.

Other characters such as Hannah’s husband Gabriel or Higginbotham drift in and out of the reader’s semi-consciousness and seem to contribute little or nothing to the point of anything.

I’ve just now realised that I’m in serious danger of praising the novel by assuming there was a point to it so I’d better stop.
… (mais)
½
 
Assinalado
arukiyomi | 7 outras críticas | Aug 30, 2020 |
This is a departure from my usual reads. It's a novel about sisters from India - one in California, one in New Jersey and one in Calcutta and culture clashes and meshes.
 
Assinalado
susandennis | 7 outras críticas | Jun 5, 2020 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
17
Also by
34
Membros
3,020
Popularidade
#8,454
Avaliação
½ 3.6
Críticas
90
ISBN
102
Línguas
10
Marcado como favorito
7

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