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Links 1 through 4 of 4 by Latoya Peterson tagged narratives

"The quest for Najib—the details of his life and the route of his great escape —that consumed me for the next thirteen years was not an easy one. Most of Palestine’s history, together with that of its people, is buried deep in the ground. To reconstruct the journey of my great-great-uncle I could not visit any of the houses where he and his family had lived in Haifa, his point of departure. This mixed community of Arabs and Jews has become an Israeli city, with most of its former Palestinian inhabitants scattered throughout the world. "

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"Nine years after his book’s publication, the lanky author is an overnight sensation. Dreams has become a rising national politician’s origin story. A few critics take exception to its composite characters, the arbitrary manner in which some but not all names were changed, the actual events compressed and rearranged for the sake of drama, and the elegant “remembered” dialogues from long ago that nonetheless go on for pages and pages. But for the most part, Obama is given a free pass. He has a greater truth to tell. And in this manner, the artistic gall of the writer and the artful calculation of the politician are indistinguishable—as Barack Obama, who by now thoroughly inhabits both worlds, proves better than anyone else."

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"Why do white people always talk about the Asian American identity as if it is either/or? And define which specific identities should be chosen from? Like, will this kid be Chinese, American or Chinese American? Because you can only pick one. Guess which identity will be endorsed and supported by the majority society? (So when I talk about transracial adoptive parents reflecting the general population, remember that the majority are white.)

And what does it mean to be “fully herself”? Is she not fully herself if her identity is not fixed? Or is it that there is some notion of what she should be, and she hasn’t fulfilled that yet? And is it an ageless question or an age-old question? Will the majority audience really relate to the themes of identity? And how is this Chinese woman’s identity portrayed by a white male writer? (I’d guess he wasn’t adopted either, although I have no way to know.)

It’s Chinese America, as portrayed by the majority. Got it."

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"Names of slaves owned by Leak — Caruthers, Moses, Isaac, Sam, Toney, Mollie, Edmund and Worsham — all appear in some form in “Go Down, Moses.” Other recorded names, like Candis (Candace in the book) and Ben, show up in “The Sound and The Fury” (1929) while Old Rose, Henry, Ellen and Milly are characters in “Absalom, Absalom!” (1936). Charles Bonner, a well-known Civil War physician mentioned in the diary, would also seem to be the namesake of Charles Bon in “Absalom.”

Scholars found Faulkner’s decision to give his white characters the names of slaves particularly arresting. Professor Wolff-King said she believes he was “trying to recreate the slaves lives and give them a voice.”

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