Catalogue


Room to fly : a transcultural memoir /
Padma Hejmadi.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
description
xii, 202 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0520215060 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1999.
isbn
0520215060 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3264698
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Room to Fly is a feast of great richness and variety, filled with exquisitely nuanced descriptions of places that have shaped the spiritual growth of the author. She brings to the most fleeting encounters her memories, her reflections, and her deep knowledge of Indian history, all woven with consummate skill on the loom of her own life."--Nancy Willard, author of The Mountains of Quilt "Room to Fly is unique in both form and content. I know of nothing else with which it might be meaningfully compared. This book is a treasure . . . structured with unobtrusive care to record the liberating moments of space."--Hazel Barnes, author of The Story I Tell Myself "What makes Room to Fly so unusual is its rendering of memory and of the creative process itself. This book is at once a series of prose poems, a philosophy of aesthetics, and an exploration of cultures, written with such vivid immediacy and a language so beautifully crafted that we keep wanting to return to it again and again for the sheer pleasure of its music."--Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, author of Revolutionizing Motherhood "This book is a gift of joy--a bright tapestry of perception and meditation, woven from threads of nature and art and friendship. Padma Hejmadi's experience of many years, in many lands and languages, is framed by a rich awareness of human possibility--of what it is to be fully alive in the senses, the mind, the heart, and the imagination."--Aileen Ward, author of John Keats "Brilliant at catching the transitions between understanding and incomprehension, laughter and loss; at capturing transformations where personal experience opens up the world."--from M. Kay Flavell, author of "George Grosz: A Biography." Professor of Critical Theory, art critic, and Director the The Pacific Bridges Project.
Flap Copy
" Room to Fly is a feast of great richness and variety, filled with exquisitely nuanced descriptions of places that have shaped the spiritual growth of the author. She brings to the most fleeting encounters her memories, her reflections, and her deep knowledge of Indian history, all woven with consummate skill on the loom of her own life."--Nancy Willard, author of The Mountains of Quilt " Room to Fly is unique in both form and content. I know of nothing else with which it might be meaningfully compared. This book is a treasure . . . structured with unobtrusive care to record the liberating moments of space."--Hazel Barnes, author of The Story I Tell Myself "What makes Room to Fly so unusual is its rendering of memory and of the creative process itself. This book is at once a series of prose poems, a philosophy of aesthetics, and an exploration of cultures, written with such vivid immediacy and a language so beautifully crafted that we keep wanting to return to it again and again for the sheer pleasure of its music."--Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, author of Revolutionizing Motherhood "This book is a gift of joy--a bright tapestry of perception and meditation, woven from threads of nature and art and friendship. Padma Hejmadi's experience of many years, in many lands and languages, is framed by a rich awareness of human possibility--of what it is to be fully alive in the senses, the mind, the heart, and the imagination."--Aileen Ward, author of John Keats "Brilliant at catching the transitions between understanding and incomprehension, laughter and loss; at capturing transformations where personal experience opens up the world."--from M. Kay Flavell, author of "George Grosz: A Biography." Professor of Critical Theory, art critic, and Director the The Pacific Bridges Project.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-04:
An admirable addition to an increasingly popular genre--the personal memoir--this volume takes the form of a mosaic with an underlying structure that is often faint if not invisible. The occasional lags can be attributed to the serendipitous arrangement of the books segments. Without either chronology or theme to cling to, one must simply follow along as though having a conversation with a somewhat rambling traveling companion. Nonetheless, the reader will have a pleasant adventure roaming across the continents with the author during the first half of her lifetime. The most fascinating observations concern the author's childhood in a part of India where the spoken language, a variation of Konkani, has no written form. Hejmadi describes the impact of this in graceful, fluid English that is both impressive and startling, and her philosophical concerns regarding the impact of such a situation on the people experiencing it is thought-provoking. In addition to language and literacy, the memoirist's themes include many forms of movement, including travel and transformation. All in all, a worthy selection for any academic collection supporting the study of the memoir genre. S. Raeschild; College of Santa Fe
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2000
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Summaries
Main Description
Room to Fly takes us across cultures and down through layers of language and history, under the trajectory of the author's Brahmin girlhood in India to her adulthood in Davis, California. Subtly written, witty, and carefully structured, this book emphasizes the process of creating a life rich with meaning, depth, and serendipity. A fascinating book with wide appeal.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This journal traces the contours of cultural perceptions, welcoming the reader into the intimate geography of individual lives. It explores the human spaces surrounding language, landscape, literacy, music, dance, and family relationships.
Main Description
Room to Fly is a unique journal--or ongoing memoir--by a woman who traces the elusive contours of cultural perceptions East and West, welcoming us into the intimate geography of individual lives. The book takes its shape and direction from a tenet of Japanese Sumi painting: If you depict a bird, give it space to fly . Padma Hejmadi explores the human spaces surrounding language, landscape, literacy and illiteracy, music, dance, legend, the cadence of ancient craft, and the ceaselessly unfolding layers of family relationships. Part autobiography, part lively meditation, Room to Fly represents a new genre with an old diction. Hejmadi's spare, luminous prose combines lyricism with humor and intellectual rigor, drawing us from Bombay to the Bahamas, from Japan to New England, the Greek Isles to New Mexico.
Long Description
Room to Fly is a unique journal--or ongoing memoir--by a woman who traces the elusive contours of cultural perceptions East and West, welcoming us into the intimate geography of individual lives. The book takes its shape and direction from a tenet of Japanese Sumi painting: If you depict a bird, give it space to fly. Padma Hejmadi explores the human spaces surrounding language, landscape, literacy and illiteracy, music, dance, legend, the cadence of ancient craft, and the ceaselessly unfolding layers of family relationships. Part autobiography, part lively meditation, Room to Fly represents a new genre with an old diction. Hejmadi's spare, luminous prose combines lyricism with humor and intellectual rigor, drawing us from Bombay to the Bahamas, from Japan to New England, the Greek Isles to New Mexico.
Table of Contents
Prologue
Glorious Illiteracyp. 1
Wet Pavementsp. 19
Lines in the Darkp. 37
Shifts, Journeys, Transformationsp. 53
Singing Saints and Othersp. 73
Curve of the Mindp. 81
Places Making People Making Placesp. 97
Cadences of Craftp. 141
Dance Storyp. 165
Bitter Gourd and Green Mangop. 173
Cessation and Continuityp. 187
Epiloguep. 195
Acknowledgmentsp. 197
Bibliographyp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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