Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Chicana Literature

Congratulations to Professor Cristina Herrera of California State University, Fresno, on the outstanding review of her book, Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script, by the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature.

Contemporary Literature

The book review commends Contemporary Chicana Literature because:

“In the field of mothering and motherhood studies, there is a lack of literature which specifically focuses on the mother-daughter relationship in Chicana Studies. Cristina Herrera’s Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script fills this void in literary scholarship by examining a diverse array of Chicana writers that push the boundaries of maternal relationships. The text is a welcome addition to the canon, especially since it goes beyond the limited interpretations of Chicana mother-daughter relationships, motherhood, and mothering and recognizes the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomics, and religion in shaping the relationship between Chicana mothers and daughters. With its widely interdisciplinary literary, cultural, religious, and historical sources, this book gives readers some much-needed critical perspectives and Herrera should be commended for her notable effort. … By challenging the limited models of Chicana mother-daughter relationships that frequently dictate the analysis of Chicana literature, Herrera presents a fresh paradigm to the ensuing discussion of Chicana literary scholarship. She recognizes that Chicana mothering, like society, is changing and that it is time the academy understands this broad scope. In doing so, she succeeds in rewriting Chicana mother-daughter relationships and forming a new space of reexamining representations of Chicana mothers and daughters.”

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Cambria Press New Publication: The Fiction of Thea Astley

Cambria Press is pleased to announce a new publication The Fiction of Thea Astley by Susan Sheridan.

This book is in the Cambria Australian Literature Series, headed by Dr. Susan Lever.

This book will be launched at the upcoming 2016 Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference hosted by UNSW Canberra at ADFA.

The following are excerpts from the new book.

Thea Astley

From the introduction:
“This oppositional stance—in relation to the Church, and in relation to the nation and the colonialism on which it was founded—fed into Astley’s critique of other social institutions and practices. Her work is driven by a moral revulsion against greed and corruption, against class prejudice and the cruelties practiced on social outsiders, against the racism of colonial dispossession and exploitation of Indigenous people, and against the presumption of male superiority and the physical and psychic violence practiced against women.”

From Chapter 3:
“By the time she published Beachmasters, in 1986, Astley had developed a political perspective on colonialism that allowed her to move beyond disillusionment with human relationships structured by marriage, or human relationship to the divine as structured by the Church, to a critique of the structures themselves. This novel takes colonialism as its subject, rather than assuming its presence, and depicts expatriates and indigenous people inhabiting the same socio-political space, drawing out the complications of hapkas familial and cultural identity. Such a perspective on power structures, as we shall see in later chapters, comes to inform her representation of gender and sexual relations as well as colonial race relations, providing a strong intellectual foundation for her intensely imagined fictions.”

From Chapter 7:
“With Drylands, her final novel, Astley returns to the present day and a setting in a small north Queensland inland town of that name. […]The stories are framed by the narrative of Janet Deakin (a name suggesting she is a descendant of one of Australia’s founding fathers, Alfred Deakin) […] The stories, including Janet’s own, are all tales of violence, of behavior which ranges from the verbal sneers that Janet suffers, through to domestic violence and attempted rape. Another woman is victim not to violence but to domestic servitude to her husband and six sons. In this book, Astley’s feisty feminist barbs at marriage as an institution of male privilege and female slavery recur (‘Is it a boy or a drudge?’ asks Janet’s mother when she is born, 103) but the predominant theme is masculine violence.”

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Cambria Press Book Excerpt from “Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition”

#AfricanLit

From Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition edited by Walter P. Collins, III:

Another major event in Sheri’s life that shows the indelible marks of Lagos on her psyche is the episode in which Sheri fights back and beats up the brigadier when he abuses her physically. Atta’s deliberate use of a biracial character (often referred to derogatorily as half-caste in the Nigerian context) to beat up a Brigadier validates the claim that it is the Lagos lifestyle, and not the color of the skin (ancestry), that ultimately affects her characters:

“Telling me I’m a whore for going out. Your mother is the whore. Raise a hand to beat Sheri Bakare, and your hand will never remain the same again. Stupid man, he will find it hard to play polo from now on ….I was raised in downtown Lagos…Bring the Queen of England there. She will learn how to fight.” (Everything Good Will Come 174)

Even Sheri recognizes that she is who she is because of her having been born and bred in Lagos. When Enitan remarks that she is unable to tell who is crazier between the two of them, Sheri quickly remarks that: “after what I’ve seen, if I’m not crazy, what else would I be?”

Writing Contemporary Nigeria is a must for all African literature collections–Order it now and click here to ask your university library to purchase it.

This book is in the Cambria African Studies Series headed by Toyin Falola (University of Texas at Austin) with Moses Ochonu (Vanderbilt University).

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#MLA15 Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist

Shirley Hazzard

#MLA15: Check out Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist at the Cambria Press booth (402)!

“Not just an intellectual exercise, or a scholarly pleasure, but also a profound relief to read,” is how this first-ever monograph on Shirley Hazzard has been described. Widely praised this book, which is in the Cambria Australian Literature Series headed by Susan Lever (University of Sydney), is also an important resource for scholars in women’s studies and world literature.

Browse Shirley Hazzard: Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist by Brigitta Olubas, associate professor at the University of New South Wales, at the Cambria Press booth (402) in the book exhibit hall and enter our #MLA15 book-giveaway draw for a chance to win this book!

Dr. Olubas will be presenting in the #MLA15 session Local Literatures Transnationally: Australian and New Zealand Literatures in Global Connection (Friday at 10:15 a.m.).

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Cambria Press New Book for African studies, Latin American studies, slavery studies, and women’s studies

Cambria Press academic publisher

Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

At the 2014 LASA congress last month, there was much excitement not only for Howard University history professor Ana Lucia Araujo’s two highly praised books, Public Memory of Slavery and Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade, but also her series, Slavery: Past and Present, because the inaugural title Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing was published just in time for LASA.

Even more exciting was the fact that both the author Paula Sanmartín and one of the writers discussed in the book, Nancy Morejón, were both at LASA. This book is much cause for celebration because until now there has been no book-length study concentrating on black women writers from the United States and the Spanish Caribbean. Books on women authors from the Caribbean and comparative studies of the Black Diaspora tend to focus on Anglophone writers, and scarce critical attention is given to black women authors in the field of Afro-Hispanic studies.

Dr. Sanmartín’s book notes that “the totalizing impulse of race in concepts such as ‘black womanhood’ masks real differences between black women from the United States and Cuba,” and shows how “the work of Afro-Cuban writer and literary critic Nancy Morejón demonstrates that one needs to acknowledge internal discursive fields such as negrismo, transculturación, mestizaje, and cubanismo when studying Afro-Cuban women’s writings.”

This book is an important addition for collections in African studies, Latin American studies, slavery studies, and women’s studies.

Browse this book with the Free Preview Tool.

This book is in the  Slavery: Past and Present book series by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

If you like this book, please recommend it to your library and colleagues.

Check out our e-book rentals too: Cambria monographs have excellent chapter readings for undergraduate and graduate classes–
Avoid the hassle of textbook orders and simply assign a book chapter (or more) to students for the week’s reading for only $8.99!

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Doris Lessing (1919-2013): “The salvation of this world cannot lie in any political ideology”

Cambria Press academic publisher Doris Lessing Nobel Prize Literature

Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Doris Lessing passed away yesterday, but her legacy as one of the greatest British writers will live on. A thinker ahead of her time, Lessing’s space fiction, as stated by David Waterman in his book Identity in Doris Lessing’s Space Fiction, “treats the human subject as a political text, on which the dominant culture inscribes its mark, assigning to each the role that s/he is required to fill” and unflinchingly warns that “a society where groups of people form and then oppose one another is a society that is perpetually and hopelessly violent.”

Waterman further added that “in an interview with Margarete von Schwarzkopf, Doris Lessing reminds us (lest we forget) that it is exactly the ‘much longer story’ of humanity which must be our preoccupation, and our place within this whole: ‘[…] I have long recognized that the salvation of this world cannot lie in any political ideology. All ideologies are deceptive and serve only a few, not people in general’…People, after all, are / do matter. Material anchors ground everyday reality and identity, and Lessing’s space fiction does nothing if not insist that such hierarchies and group affiliations, which propose order and security at the price of isolation and conformity, must be abandoned if identity is to be understood on a universal basis, without credentials, without exclusion, and ultimately, without violence.”

No doubt Lessing’s writings which are an uncanny take on humanity and it survival will continue to resonate. RIP.

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