Cultural Immrsion Essay

Cultural Immrsion Essay-60
The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the Kallol movement, hungryalists and the little magazines.Jibanananda Das, Sukumar Ray, Sukanta Bhattacharya, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Manik Bandopadhyay, Narendranath Mitra, Subodh Ghosh, Ashapurna Devi, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Buddhadeb Guha, Mahashweta Devi, Samaresh Majumdar, Mani Shankar Mukherjee, Dinesh Das, Sanjeev Chattopadhyay, Syed Mustafa Siraj, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Joy Goswami among others are well-known writers of the 20th century.

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West Bengal's capital Kolkata—as the former capital of India—was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought, Residents engage in addas, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation.

However, with the growth of apartments, expansion of neighbourhoods and rapid urbanization, this culture is on decline. West Bengal has a long tradition of popular literature, music and drama largely based on Bengali folklore and Hindu epics and Puranas.

Once I knew why he had kidnapped his son — to get him away from a mother and a church intent on teaching him that judgment trumps compassion, particularly around issues of gay equality — it made perfect sense to set most of the novel in a community that has long been known for embracing those who are ostracized in the larger culture.

Key West is a place where the town motto, “One Human Family," is stamped into the sidewalks and onto free bumper stickers given away at the Visitors Center.

I rode my bicycle around my little town, seeing the world through Asher’s eyes.

One afternoon I went into a gas station and saw a state trooper in line.

I came to understand the music that spoke to my characters — Patty Griffin for Asher, My Morning Jacket and Tom Petty for Justin, and Joni Mitchell for Bell — then I listened to those artists almost exclusively. My characters read Thomas Merton, The Old Man and the Sea, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, so I read or reread them, too.

I can only write a novel properly if I have practiced total immersion, much like the baptism into the fundamentalist church that Asher experienced as a teenager.

Asher, a fundamentalist preacher who makes a courageous stand for equality and loses his church and his marriage because of it, decides that he is prepared to give up everything for what he believes in. So he kidnaps nine-year-old Justin and they run off from the rolling green hills outside Nashville to the balminess — and balm — of Key West. Immersive research is always one of the best parts of the writing process. The first time I went to the island, I already knew I wanted to write a novel about a parent kidnapping a child and I had started creating my main characters.

Along the way they argue, talk, sing, remain quiet for long stretches, take the top off of their Jeep, and let their hands drift on the wind as the air changes from the smell of dairy farms to cotton fields to swamps to ocean. I saw that this would be the best place for Asher to make his escape, especially since it was so different — in climate, values, and feeling — from his home along the winding Cumberland River in Tennessee.

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