I never fail to be thrilled by the extraordinary and continually widening reach of our journal. Nearly sixty residents of fifteen countries have contributed to this issue, each of them telling a transnational story in prose or poetry, or contributing to a vast international literary conversation about writing from dozens of other countries and cultures. Many of them, like Jessica Sanfilippo Schulz, would be 'Third Culture Kids', spending their lives straddling borders and boundaries. Jessica's essay is one of an especially rich collection we have to offer you this November, with subjects ranging from Denmark-based Indian novelist and poet Tabish Khair to the young Afghanistan-born US memoirist Farah Ahmedi. And we range not only across countries but across centuries, with essays on the early twentieth-century Australian writer Nettie Palmer along with more internationally recognisable literary figures such as Joseph Conrad, Jean Rhys and Washington Irving. Lastly, Patrick McCabe's 1992 novel The Butcher Boy is the subject of a spirited assessment by Marie McMillan.
Thirteen new poems come to you from a dazzling collection of poets. Claire Gaskin writers of her poem, 'Live Recovery'
I'm looking at the transnational from a globalisation angle. I think that globalisation is a new form of colonising. Due to colonising women's bodies, we colonise globally. I'm paralleling the body with the nation, moving through the personal to the universal. The social and political power struggles wielded in personal relationships are also wielded between nations. I'm working with the idea of globalisation as an economic force resulting in political and social control.
Poetry editor Heather Taylor Johnson adds, 'Gaskin uses repetition and noun-substitution to surprise and challenge her readers, and that's something interesting about this group of poems as a whole: though they're mostly weighty in tone, they're quite playful in style. Experimentation with punctuation seems to be a recurring event, and in a modern-day anti-rhyming mindset, some of the poets make a bold move to keep rhyme alive.'
Also in the poetry section, we have a translation from the Persian of a powerful work about women's lack of agency in an oppressive regime.
Seven stories and memoirs take us around the world, in humorous and poignant narratives inspired by personal encounters across cultures and countries. As always, the stories are truly transnational and range from magic realism in a Thai orphanage and early morning exasperation in South Korea to first world tourists in South India and a violent death in the cane fields of Fiji.
And lastly, dozens of book reviews, covering poetry, fiction and critical writing from all over the world, written by reviewers from all over the world. We are pleased to have been able to include five reviews originally written for Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal which they were unable to publish.
We would, however, be nowhere without our genial and unassuming late colleague, Syd Harrex. One year ago we included a collection of tributes to Syd following his death in May 2015. In December 2016 we are publishing a special issue out of our usual series dedicated to Syd and his work, including new essays and reprints. Some of his later poems are published for the first time.
I don't do this alone, by any means, and I am most grateful to those who have helped me with the editing of the articles and book reviews. I have been helped enormously by Andrew Craig over the past few months, and Michael Lee Gardin has also done sterling work on some of the essays. My deputy editors Emily Sutherland and Paul Ardoin have as always provided much-needed support with the editorial review process. I would also like to thank the section editors Heather Taylor Johnson (Poetry), Md Rezaul Haque (Translations) and Ruth Starke, assisted by Molly Murn (Fiction and Life Writing) for their valuable work in curating and editing their sections.
And sincere thanks, as always, to the anonymous peer reviewers who provide their services purely in the interests of high-quality humanities scholarship. Without their thorough and thoughtful attention to our contributors' submissions, we would simply be unable to function.
'Are Hills Like White Elephants?' is, of course, inspired by Hemingway; the tribute reflects on the abiding relevance of serious art in a changed world and extends the boundaries of his message to other human situations.
Critical considerations of Jean Rhys’ texts are often intent on geopolitically ‘placing’ the female author. Feeling exiled from her birth country of Dominica and her resident country of England, Rhys felt as if she ‘had no country really now’ (Rhys 1984, 172). National identity seems to have impact upon both public and private practices of Rhys’ authorship. A lack of national identity implies that Rhys is placeless; a concept which is further problematised when considered under Virginia Woolf’s arguments in A Room of One’s Own (1929). If Rhys does not have country, how can she have a private space from which to write? For an exiled female author, private space is an issue pertinent to studies of her authorship. Through the frameworks of A Room of One’s Own and Hélène Cixous’ concept of ‘country in language’, this article demonstrates that Jean Rhys may use her writing practice as an imagined place in which to search for home. For the exiled female author, the textualisation of place and her identity as ‘author’ is an alternative dwelling space.