This collection gathers together the title novella along with five short pieces that follow the lives of first- and second-generation Indian Americans living in contemporary California. The characters share a similar sensibility: a sense that immigration is a distant memory, yet an experience that continues to shape the decisions they make in subtle and surprising ways as they go about the complicated business of everyday living.
“Sameer Pandya’s stories are fine-tuned and precise, and carry an emotional load that breaks open inside us in ways that are, by turns, delicate and explosive.” —Gretel Ehrlich, author of The Solace of Open Spaces and Facing the Wave
“Pandya writes with grace and authority about characters revealed to us through their fears and dreams, mistakes and successes, longing and regrets.” —Keith Scribner, Oregon State University
Caodaism is a new religion born in Vietnam during the struggles of decolonization, shattered and spatially dispersed by cold war conflicts, and now reshaping the goals of its four million followers. Colorful and strikingly eclectic, Caodaism forces us to reconsider how anthropologists study religious mixtures in postcolonial settings. Its dynamics challenge the unconscious Eurocentrism of our notions of how religions are bounded and conceptualized.
“This examination of the Caodai religious movement is easily the most comprehensive and sympathetic study yet prepared on what is surely the most fascinating yet also the most misunderstood of Vietnam’s ‘new’ (colonial and postcolonial) religions. The work engages critically with existing interpretations of the Caodai faith and ventures a new interpretation of its emergence as a reflexive re-synthesis of Vietnamese religious traditions—a self-defensive re-articulation of identity—in the context of colonial cultural and political domination, frustrated nationalism, diasporic dispersal, and transnational globalism. . . . In the hands of the author, this engaging, complex, and big-hearted Vietnamese religion at last has gained the sensitive and capable treatment it deserves.” —Philip Taylor, The Australian National University
Jim Tranquada, author of The ‘Ukulele: A History, will speak at a couple of events in the southern California area — one taking place tomorrow (sorry for the short notice) and the other in April. In each he will be paired with ‘ukulele musicians to create entertaining celebrations of the versatile instrument. The Brittni Paiva concert should be especially awesome!
Saturday, February 23, 2013, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Grant R. Brimhall Library, 1401 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks
Musician/teacher Tom Kuznkowski will lead the kanikapila (jam session). Bring your ‘uke and join in! For more details, download the flyerhere.
Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 2:00 p.m. Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad
Mark your calendars to head over to Carlsbad for “Sincerely, Ukulele,” featuring Jim Tranquada’s book talk, followed by a performance by ‘ukulele artist Brittni Paiva. For details and to purchase tickets, click here.
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