The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience
South End Press, 1996 - 223 pages
In this book, acclaimed South Asian American poet and novelist Meena Alexander unleashes a fury of prose and poetry to confront the stereotypes and explore the challenges facing postcolonial immigrants in America. Commenting on the history of memory, language, shame, and exile, Alexander poignantly describes the wealth of experiences and imaginings that have shaped her life and writing. Her project: "to make space for what was crossed out in the decorum of femininity, in the high places of classical hierarchy, in the racism of a canonical knowledge, in the obliterations of a national memory ... all this is part of our task, part of the violent, fractured worlds that we must etch into beauty".
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America arrival artist Asian asked becomes bits blood body born called child cloth colonial comes culture dark death desire draw dream earth edge English eyes face father feel female feminine figure fire flesh forced Gandhi garden girl hair hands head heart hold imagination India land language learning light lines living look marked mean memory mind mother mouth move Naidu never painted pass past perhaps piece play poem poetry political present Press published questions river rock sense shock side skin sometimes soul South space speak speech stand started stones stop street struggle tell thing thought tion tongue torn touch trees turned violence voice walking wall window woman women writing young