Open Access (free)
Author:

Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

Open Access (free)
Performing in the spaces of city and nation in A Fine Balance
Peter Morey

94 Rohinton Mistry 4 Thread and circuses: performing in the spaces of city and nation in A Fine Balance you only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle, p. 107) M you cannot draw lines and compartments, and refuse to budge beyond them … You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair … In the end, it’s all a question of balance. (A Fine Balance, p. 231) ISTRY’S interest in the

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
Corruption, community and duty in Family Matters
Peter Morey

, carries with him the whiff of scandal and divided loyalties owing to his liaison with a non-Parsi, Lucy Braganza. When his father refuses to countenance his exogamous intentions, Nariman reluctantly yields to the marriage with Yasmin Contractor. Nariman soon adds a daughter of his own, Roxana, to his newly acquired stepchildren, leading to longstanding jealousies and resentment about favouritism. As these almost ad hoc arrangements indicate, families develop, change and some branches die out while others are propagated and flourish. Beyond this, as in A Fine Balance

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

Fiction of Bapsi Sidhwa, Rohinton Mistry and Yasmine Gooneratne’, in the Dodiya volume. Writing of A Fine Balance, Viswanath laments that Dina’s newfound ‘economic empowerment’ as the tailors’ employer is short-lived, and ‘the narrative (significantly that of a male), unable to sustain feminist individualism’,20 returns her to her brother’s household. A more careful reading of the novel would presumably have made apparent the fact that the ‘power’ Dina temporarily enjoys is flawed and complicit with a wider network Morey_Mistry_06_Ch6 156 9/6/04, 4:16 pm Critical

in Rohinton Mistry
International man of stories
Peter Morey

consolation. The first novel, Such a Long Journey, asks questions about the trustworthiness of language as communication in a climate of political intrigue and duplicity and, while concluding that the consolations of friendship and loyalty are to be recommended, also acknowledges their temporary nature. A Fine Balance carries these interests onto the battlefield that is the India of Mrs Gandhi’s Emergency, a terrain populated by grimacing henchman and stoical eccentrics whose larger-than-life qualities take the book beyond the realm Morey_Mistry_07_Ch7 171 9/6/04, 4

in Rohinton Mistry
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Language, lies and the crisis of representation in Such a Long Journey
Peter Morey

out in subcontinental space.1 Morey_Mistry_03_Ch3 69 9/6/04, 4:14 pm 70 Rohinton Mistry Rohinton Mistry’s first two novels, Such a Long Journey and A Fine Balance, appear to bear out this suggestion. Both have something of the political thriller about them, although, as always in Mistry’s writing, the operations of history are linked to, and impinge on, humdrum, quotidian life. In the earlier novel, published in 1991, political events put pressure on a family already under strain.2 Gustad Noble becomes alienated from his disobedient elder son, his precious

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

– Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995), and Family Matters (2002), receive a host of literary prizes, and achieve recognition as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature. Mistry draws his inspiration both from sharply recalled childhood experiences and from the upheavals of migration. However, as always with such intense and apparently personal narratives, the relationship between fiction and autobiography is hard to determine. Certainly there are overlaps between the events and life choices of the writer and some of his

in Rohinton Mistry
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Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author:

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Andrew Knapp

with a Bayrou list. Second, however, the UMP’s success could be expected to reinforce existing tendencies towards bipolarity. The party system of Fifth Republic France has been characterised by a fine balance between the dynamics of fragmentation and bipolarity (Knapp and Wright, 2001: 264–5), and the electoral cycle of 2002 was an excellent illustration of this. Fragmentation was expressed in a presidential first round that saw sixteen candidates competing, extremes of right and left picking up a third of the vote, and the candidate of the far right beating the

in The French party system
Iain Lindsey
,
Tess Kay
,
Ruth Jeanes
, and
Davies Banda

things to them. (Female peer leader, Chawama) Therefore, peer leaders’ attempts at engagement with adults within their communities came with the risk of clashing with traditional cultural values and beliefs. Young people are generally expected to show unquestioning respect for adults. A fine balance can therefore be identified between empowering both peer leaders and young

in Localizing global sport for development