In Octavia Butler’s time-traveling fantasy Kindred, the novel begins with the main character, Dana, losing her arm. Even without the ending, that is an unusual way to begin a story. Similarly, Tiphanie Yanique‘s mythic/mystical/religious storytelling in her short story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, includes in the title story, a character named […]Read More Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Phantom Limb, Octavia Butler’s “Kindred,” and Tiphanie Yanique’s “How to Escape from a Leper Colony”
I wrote before about how limbo is a tangible dance recovery of the phantom limb or broken connection (a tangible made into an intangible) produced by the Atlantic between Africa and the Americas. Poet and writer Nathaniel Mackey also has written about it in his poems and essays, like “Sound and Sentiment, Sound and Symbol,” […]Read More Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Nathaniel Mackey’s “Sound and Sentience”
As we approach another year, some believe it is the end of the world — the apocalypse — but “apocalypse” means “a revealing,” so I choose to see it only as a state of transformation. Today’s date is triple digit number and the last one for a while, so let’s celebrate this moment in time […]Read More Happy 12/12/12!
Will you make it to the other side? It’s amazing how many aspects of my culture and other cultures, too, are either hidden or diluted. One, for example, is the limbo dance that originated in Trinidad and Tobago. For many, it is only a fun dance game in which you try to pass under a […]Read More Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Limbo by Edward Kamau Brathwaite