Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts Review’

Uzma Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

My my, this blog has been quiet. But now some great news: Uzma Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin is just back from the printers. We’re enormously excited and honored to be publishing Uzma’s fourth novel, the first since her stunning The Geometry of God—one of Clockroot’s first books and according to Kirkus Reviews one of the best books of 2009.

A little advance praise for Thinner than Skin:

“In gorgeous prose, Khan writes about Pakistan, a land of breathtaking beauty, and the complex relationships between people who are weighted with grief and estrangement. As her characters’ lives play out against the backdrop of the external world whose violence gradually closes in on them, Khan brilliantly probes the fatal limitations of human understanding. A novel of great lucidity and tenderness, filled with splendid descriptions of the land, the people who have always inhabited it, and those who are irresistibly drawn to it.”
—Therese Soukar Chehade

“Smart, fierce, and poignant: perhaps the most exciting novel yet by this very talented writer.”
—Mohsin Hamid

You can read an excerpt of Thinner than Skin here in the Daily Star, as well as in the soon-to-be-released fall issue of the Massachusetts Review (print only! but why not get a copy of such a great magazine?). An excerpt also appeared in Granta‘s widely celebrated recent issue on Pakistan. As always, please contact us if you’d like a review or desk copy. I’ll close with a little more about the novel itself:

In the wilds of Northern Pakistan, where glaciers are born of mating ice, two young lovers shatter the tenuous peace of a nomadic community

Thinner than Skin is a riveting novel about identity and belonging. It’s also a love story: between Nadir, a Pakistani man trying to make his way as a photographer in America, and Farhana, a Pakistani-American woman who wants to return to a country she’s never seen. Together Nadir and Farhana journey to Pakistan, accompanied by one of her colleagues—who will join her in studying Pakistan’s extraordinary glaciers—and by Nadir’s oldest friend. But they are not the only interlopers here: a suspect in a recent bombing has arrived just before them, and the authorities’ hunt for him casts a dangerous shadow over their journey. It is here, in this magnificent landscape—where glaciers are born of mating ice—that a chance meeting with a young nomad will change their lives, and the lives of those around them, forever.

Thinner than Skin is a haunting tribute to these lands, and to the nomadic life of the indigenous people there, where China encroaches and Pakistanis, Uzbeks, Russians, Chinese, and Afghans all come together to trade. It is a work of piercing beauty and intelligence, and an urgent novel for our times.

The new Massachusetts Review brings a taste of Pi

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Massachusetts ReviewThe Autumn 2010 issue of the Massachusetts Review is out, and in it three stories from The Life and Memoirs of Dr. Pi—alongside poetry by Ko Un, Donald Revell, an essay on colonialism & the poetry of rebellion by Martin Espada, and translations translations translations… I will hunt down a copy this weekend! For all you translators out there, note that the MR is also offering a new prize for work in translation: details here.

I also neglected to note that this fall Dr. Pi made an appearance at Route 9, the new online literary magazine of the UMass MFA program. The first issue features poetry, prose, criticism, interviews, art etc. by Matthew Zapruder, Heather Christle, Zach Savich, Leni Zumas, I would keep listing but you could also just click over and have a look…

This weekend in Amherst: the 10th annual Juniper Literary Festival

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

For those of you in the Valley, the Juniper Literary Festival is this weekend, with a great program honoring the ten-year anniversary of jubilat. Clockroot will have a wee bit of a table, honored to be elbow to elbow with a selection of truly fantastic poetry presses & magazines (see below), and other UMass MFA-program-related endeavors (one teaser: Microfilme magazine, dedicated to the preservation of writing that shouldn’t be read with the naked eye…). Come by!

Friday April 23

3:30 pm Eric Carle Museum: Antonio Frasconi Exhibit Tour: curator tours of the internationally acclaimed artist’s woodcuts, including works inspired by Pablo Neruda and W.S. Merwin

4:30 pm: Eric Carle Museum: Roundtable: On Poetry & The Visual Arts: Jen Bervin, Terrance Hayes, & Matthea Harvey, moderated by Jane Curley

6 pm: Fine Arts Center Lobby: Independent Journal & Book Fair Opening Reception

7:30 pm: University Gallery: Reading & Performance: Jen Bervin, Christian Hawkey, & Michael Teig, followed by the premier of a performance based on Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno,” staged by Missoula Oblongata

Saturday April 24

10:30 am: Fine Arts Center Lobby: Journal & Book Fair Continues

11 am: University Gallery: Roundtable: Poetry, Publishing, & the Pioneer Valley : the dreaming up, creating, & evolving of jubilat, Verse Press/Wave Books & Rain Taxi with Rob N. Casper, Matthew Zapruder, & Eric Lorberer, moderated by Dara Wier

12:30 pm: University Gallery: Roundtable: The Future of Poetry, Part II with Heather Christle, Cathy Park Hong, Evie Shockley, & Rebecca Wolff, moderated by Rob N. Casper

3 pm: Amherst Cinema Arts Center: Reading: Terrance Hayes, Caroline Knox, Dean Young, & Matthew Zapruder

Journal and Book Fair Participants Include

A Public Space, Action, Amherst Books, Adventures in Poetry, Aufgabe, Bateau, Black Ocean, Boston Review, The Canary, Canarium, Clockroot, Conjunctions, Factory Hollow Press, Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, Hobart, Jellyfish, jubilat, Kelly Writers’ House, Kenyon Review, Magic Helicopter, Massachusetts Review, Microfilme, Noo, Nor by Press, notnostrums, Now Culture, Open City, Paris Press, PennSound, Pilot Press, Pocket Myths, Poetry Northwest, Poetry Society of America, Publishing Genius, Rain Taxi, Schoen Books, Slope Editions, Small Beer Press, Thermos, Ugly Duckling Presse, Walser Society, Wave Books, Zephyr Press

Chopping onions, cooking ourselves

Monday, March 9th, 2009

“If I had the chance to inform US policy I would advise that agreeing to feed the weak to the strong means sooner or later we will have to cook ourselves.” —Uzma Aslam Khan

Two spots of bright in a week in which I’ve otherwise found myself glum (considering the dark economy, the incomprehensible numbers of dollars to be cut from school budgets already pared by decades of skewed priorities, the way some things don’t seem to be changing fast enough or likely to change at all—how are we going to invade Afghanistan and rescue the world economy at the same time? how long? how long?)

One: Uzma Aslam Khan, whose novel The Geometry of God we’re bringing out in September, has launched—no, let’s scratch the military metaphors; let’s just scratch them—has stirred up two strengthening tonics for us who are weak in her interview on World Pulse and her essay about the Swat Valley and the Taliban. I was glad Uzma introduced us to both these organizations—World Pulse, which covers “global issues through the eyes of women,” and the World Can’t Wait, “which organizes people living in the United States to repudiate and stop the fascist direction initiated by the Bush regime.” And glad for the clarity and vision she distills in her words.

4904Two: The current issue of the Massachusetts Review is a special issue devoted to Grace Paley, of whom Vivian Gornick once wrote, perfectly: “People love life more because of her writing.” I’ve never before read a literary journal from start to finish; Paley’s particular mix of generosity, humor, steely vision, and freeing outrage is still, it turns out, just what I need.

“In a fury of tears and disgust, he wrote on the near blacktop in pink flamingo chalk—in letters fifteen feet high, so the entire Saturday walking world could see—WOULD YOU BURN A CHILD? and under it, a little taller, the red reply, WHEN NECESSARY.
And I think that is exactly when events turned me around… directed out of that sexy playground by my children’s heartfelt brains, I thought more and more and every day about the world.” —from “Faith in a Tree” by Grace Paley