Virtual Lotus is the first anthology to represent diverse writers throughout Southeast Asia. Their short stories reflect the tremendous social, political, and cultural changes experienced in the region during an age of rapid modernization. Both award-winning writers and new talent are represented, including Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Indonesia), Shahnon Ahmad (Malaysia), and Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam). With keen wit, satire, and pathos their stories poignantly illustrate contemporary life and literary currents in Southeast Asia during the twentieth century.Short introductions to each story provide a sketch of the country's literary history, revealing the interaction between individual writers and their sociopolitical situations. Many of the stories are ethnographic and provide snapshots of cultures at a specific historical moment. The stories also reflect gender balance, diversity of style, and quality of literary expression. Exploring everything from the realities of being a middle-aged woman in Burma in the witty drama "An Umbrella" to the difficult choice between appeasing a troubled Vietnamese community or tending to an ailing father in "Tu Ben the Actor," this collection is sure to appeal to a variety of readers the world over.This anthology will be useful in courses in comparative translation and culture, postcolonial studies, political science, Asian history, and gender studies. It is also appropriate for a literary reading public interested in comparative world literature.Teri Shaffer Yamada is Associate Professor, California State University, Long Beach.
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press