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Letter from the Guest Editor

Welcome to 'Literary Migrations', a special issue of Transnational Literature. Although we are well past the heyday of literary and cultural theory, frameworks such as post-colonial studies still have enormous explanatory and analytical power when applied to contemporary problems, issues and debates. Ania Loomba and colleagues have demonstrated that 'even though we may be considered to be beyond postcolonial studies, an understanding of the origins of the field is necessary for exploring this moment of doubt, renewal and expansion for postcolonial studies'. This is certainly true in studies of literature from formerly colonised (and colonising) spaces.

This relevance of theory to practice was clearly evident in the Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities conference, held at Flinders University on 3-5 December, 2007. Delegates to this conference will have warm memories of hundreds of people attending lively and engaging sessions, many of which utilised or engaged directly with post-colonial perspectives. Since many of the papers presented at this conference have been published in a variety of outlets (including a special issue of FULGOR), it was natural that Transnational Literature act as a home for papers which pertain so directly to the journal's themes.

Despite these thematic similarities, the papers in this issue reflect the diversity of the global cultural landscape. On the one hand we have an exploration of hybrid cultural identity through the new poetry of Macau, and on the other an analysis of the reception and (re-)interpretation of foundational Conquest narratives in Latin America. Post-colonial analyses of novels traverse Singapore and India (J.G. Farrell and Amitav Ghosh) as well as the United States and Japan (Don DeLillo and Haruki Murakami). We are also privileged to read transformations of genre as two authors combine scholarly cultural analysis with creative non-fiction in telling the story of a migrant family in Australia, and the history and cultural memory of the Jewish diaspora in South Africa.

Continuing in this vein of progressive academic publishing, this issue has several pieces of creative non-fiction as well as stories and poems which relate to the special issue's themes. Continuing the strong tradition of publishing reviews which goes back to the CRNLE Reviews Journal, there are many reviews which pertain to the issue's themes, as well as more general reviews. Finally we have the sad duty of publishing a tribute to the late Meenakshi Mukherjee, a member of the journal's editorial board.

In having the honour of guest editing this issue of the journal, there are several people I need to thank. First and foremost I would like to thanks the authors of the articles and other pieces, whose hard work and commitment to the project made it possible at all. Similarly, the peer reviewers provided excellent feedback and quality control, and made the issue the best it could be. Thanks also to Lyn Leader-Elliot for her monumental efforts in making the original conference such a success (and for supporting the launch); thanks to Gillian Dooley for helping me along the process (especially uploading the final articles) and for organising all the non-refereed pieces; to Rebecca Vaughan for lending her keen eye to copy-editing, and to Lisa Bennett for designing a characteristically artistic flyer for the launch. Finally, thanks to you, the reader, for taking the time to sample what the issue has to offer: we believe you will be richly rewarded.

Chad Habel, November, 2009

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