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Letter from the Editor

When preparing an issue of Transnational Literature, the last thing I do before writing the editor's note is to compile the contributors' page. For some that might seem like a mere formality. I'm not sure how many people will click through and view the list of bio notes of our authors – forty-odd academics, students, poets, memoirists and novelists from just about everywhere you can think of: Saudi Arabia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Greece, Bangladesh, South Africa, USA, UK, Italy, Malaysia and, yes, Australia.

But I always get excited when I compile the list. We deal with our authors mainly by email, of course, which effectively erases distance, but imagine the many thousands of miles our messages have had to travel, in how many different directions, to prepare for just one issue of the journal.

Real-life travelling is a theme in several of the contributions to the May issue: Nivedita Misra writes about Naipaul’s tramps and travellers, there is a short story from Gay Lynch and a memoir from Wendy Jones Nakanishi on visiting and revisiting distant places, and several poems and reviews touch on the theme of travelling.

The postcolonial experience is never far from the thoughts of our contributors. Meyre da Silva writes about the Portuguese novelist Pauline Chizine 'performing postcoloniality', while Laura Deane's review essay discusses pathways to a postcolonial settlement between Australia's government and our Indigenous peoples. Mohammad A. Quayum's essay on Rabindranath Tagore explores the great poet and novelist's efforts to maintain integrity in the face of violence and disillusion.

Meta-fiction makes its appearance in Veronica Ghiradi's article on recent Hindi novels, while Kelly Palmer considers the implications of Arundhati Roy's experience in writing place on her own writing practice. Muneerah Badr Almahasheer considers the displaced female voice in the poetry of Russian exile Natalya Gorbanevskaya, and while Virginia Yeung's essay on Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is not about literal exiles, there are abundant resonances in the themes of mortality and memory.
Six wonderful poems, plus two in translation (one from Greek and one from Bangla), and two absorbing pieces of prose writing, make up the creative writing section of this issue.
And lastly, as always, a good range of book reviews, ranging across poetry, biography, fiction, history, theory and criticism round out the issue.

My grateful thanks as always to all the peer reviewers and members of the editorial team who worked on this issue. Special and rather melancholy thanks to Heather Taylor Johnson, our poetry editor, who is leaving us after nearly five years in the role. We are, however, delighted that Alison Flett, who stepped in as guest poetry editor in November 2014, has agreed to take over from Heather from the November 2017 issue.

I do recommend you read the Contributors' list, but leave plenty of time to browse through the contents of this new issue: I'm sure you will find them even more exciting.

Gillian Dooley, General Editor

Click here for Contents page and editor's note in PDF form

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