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Copy of Biography of Sara Suleri

A biographical sketch of prominent Pakistani writer Sara Suleri.
by

kinza rehman

on 24 December 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Biography of Sara Suleri

woRKS eDUCATION Parting Thoughts cURRENT
WORK/INTERESTS mEATLESS
DAYS Family 1953- B.A. KInnaird College (1974)

Honours M.A. Punjab UniversIty (1976) Ph.D Indiana UniversIty (1983)

Sara Suleri 19th- and 20th-century English literature, Postcolonial literatures, cultural criticism, and Urdu poetry.

Sara Suleri Goodyear's fields of interest include Romantic and Victorian poetry. She also works on Edmund Burke.

Her special concerns include postcolonial literatures and theory, contemporary cultural criticism, literature and law.

She was a founding editor of The Yale Journal of Criticism, and serves on the editorial boards of YJC, The Yale Review, and Transition.

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: Literature of Judgment and Forgiveness, Wordsworth

GRADUATE COURSE: Postcolonialism and Its Discontents Sara Ifat Tillat Shahid Nuzhat ("Nuzzi") Z.A. Suleri: father Surraya "Mair" Suleri: mother Shahida: step-sister Austin: Sara's Husband Benazir Bhutto "Gen. Zulu" Haq Dadi: grandmother Other Relevant Figures Meatless Days (1989) The Rhetoric of English India (1992) Boys Will Be Boys: A Daughter's Elegy (2003) Women Skin Deep: Feminism and the Postcolonial Condition (1992) Pakistan


New Haven, CT Settings Biography Sara Suleri Goodyear is an author and a professor of English at Yale University (since 1983).

She was born in Pakistan under the British Raj.

Suleri is a founding editor of the Yale Journal of Criticism.

Her Father, Z.A. Suleri, was a well-known political journalist. He died in 1999 at age 86. http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Sara-Suleri http://hermes.hrc.ntu.edu.tw/lctd/List/authorWork_Guide.asp?A_ID=129&W_ID=297 http://www.sawnet.org/books/authors.php?Suleri+Sara Suleri was born before Partition. Her father, Zia Ahmed Suleri, was a well-known journalist who was the editor of The Pakistan Times, and was jailed for his disagreements with the Bhutto regime.

Her Welsh mother renamed herself to Surraya when she married and taught English at Punjab University.

Meatless Days:
Intermingling of her own history with that of Pakistan. http://www.sawnet.org/books/authors.php?Suleri+Sara Much of her personal writing wanders between the intimate family relationships and the political times through which they lived. In The Rhetoric of English India "traces a genealogy of colonial discourse." CrIticism/commentary Suleri [says] that any further fiction that she may write inevitably will be about Pakistan via the West or vice versa. In any case, Suleri says her work sits "between genres," at once neither fiction nor non-fiction. "There's a lot of fiction in it. Some of the characters I invented, some of the incidents I invented. Minor things, when it was necessary," she says.
Lest the reader assume entire key passages were fabricated, Suleri admits she changed mostly temporal elements such as chronology. For example, she is not sure that when her mother was teaching Emma that she was involved in the theater:
"I compressed time, brought it closer together" so that the scene would work, she says (interview, December 1990; Yishane Lee Sara Suleri, Salman Rushdie, and Post-Colonialism). http://hermes.hrc.ntu.edu.tw/lctd/List/authorWork_Guide.asp?A_ID=129&W_ID=297#07 "I am very allergic to being called 'exotic'" "A remarkable writer offers a remarkable look at the violent history of Pakistan's independence with the author's most intimate memories--of her Welsh mother, an English teacher of spare, abstracted eloquence; of her Pakistani father, a prominent and frequently jailed political journalist; of her tenacious grandmother; and of the friends who accompany her own passage to the West. A profoundly moving literary work"
-Chicago Tribune http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsMar2004/book2Mar2004.htm

America (Midwest)

Public vs. Private Suleri witnessed political events and opinions being forged from close quarters and wove the story of Pakistan into her narrative. http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsMar2004/book2Mar2004.htm quality of prose

use of metaphor to define chapters.

marked an important milestone in Pakistani English literature

classical texts of South Asian English explores the way English writing was used to perceive and define the subcontinent, from the rhetoric of Edmund Burke to the fiction of Salman Rushdie. The book also includes discussions on Fanny Parkes, Kipling, E.M. Forster and Naipaul. http://www.newsline.com.pk/NewsMar2004/book2Mar2004.htm metaphor Non-linear "I was much younger when I wrote Meatless Days and I think my language was more lubricated than it is now." Childhood=lahore Q: Both your books, particularly Boys Will Be Boys, move with great ease between countries and cultures. You are constantly challenging popular western notions of "cultural incompatibility" and "the east-west" divide - embodied by your descriptions of your Welsh mother in Lahore, and your visit to Kipling's House in Vermont with your American husband. Did you ever suffer any form of cultural conflict?

A: This is a peculiar question. Moving between cultures is never easy. I am very allergic to being called "exotic". At the same time, I delight in being able to teach texts that would possibly not have been taught at Yale University.
cadence history Subjectivity Basically, what we know about Z.A. is based soley on suleri's own memories and impressions. Nicknamed "Pip," for his "patriotic & preposterous" disposition. "Books." Mshel Online Business Channel. Mshel.com, 30 Aug 2004. Web. 15 Feb 2010. <http://www.mshel.com/book00028.html>. Father was loyally devoted to the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and in the articles he wrote supporting Pakistan's position on various issues in the news papers of which he was at different times editor. http://www.mshel.com/book00028.html "We see a father who believes in the inalienable right of fathers to affectionately bully their children. He demands their loyalty, is easily offended, and banishes them from his favour by declaring, 'Get out of my sight.'" Muneeza Shamsie Pip's prickliness and posturing recaleld by Suleri in her writing is often so tender that his very preposterousness becomes endearing. Muneeza Shamsie http://www.yale.edu/english/profiles/goodyear.html "Some might argue with her assertion that she does not interpret." Additional Critical Analyses of Suleri's Work Title: Passionate fictions: horizons of the exotic and colonial self-fashioning in Mircea Eliade's Bengal Nights and Maitreyi Devi's Na Hanyate
Source: Genders [0894-9832] Basu yr:2001 iss:34 LAHORE capital of the Punjab
second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi.

known as the "Heart of Pakistan" due to its historical importance in the creation of Pakistan, and being the cultural, political and educational centre of the country.

located near the Ravi River and Wagah, close to the Pakistan-India border. How these three women re-tell Pakistani political history, how it is lived in and through the body, and what kind of meanings are given to the nation-state in a postcolonial South Asian Muslim context. If compared to the Western feminist slogan othe personal is politicalo, in Pakistani women's lives the setting is reversed: the political becomes personal at the everyday, mundane level, especially the events that are traumatic and/or sacrificial, are lived in and through the body. Pakistani politician who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was Pakistan's first and to date only female prime minister. She was also the wife of current Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister for the first time in 1988 at the age of 35, but was removed from office 20 months later under the order of then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 she was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari. She went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998. 1988 General Zia killed in an air crash Ahmad, Rukhsana. "Meatless Days." Third World Quarterly 13.2 (1992):
744-745. Web. 20 Feb 2010.
<http://search.ebscohost.com.proxy.uwec.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mth&AN=9609120077&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live>. "Lahore." Statemaster Encyclopedia. x. x. Sydney, Australia: Nation Master, 2003. Web. <http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Lahore>. Afzal-Khan, Fawzia. "World Literature in Review: Pakistan." World Literature Today 65.1 (1991): 193. Web. 16 Feb 2010. "Department of English Faculty Profiles: Sara Suleri Goodyear." Yale University. 2009. Yale University, Web. 20 Feb 2010. <http://www.yale.edu/english/profiles/goodyear.html>.
Suleri uses short sentences when first introducing Dadi to get across information about Dadi's history--where she was born, when she married, when and why she moved to Pakistan. Much is left to the reader's imagination early on, and specifics get filled in as the story progresses. 1. Suleri gives us lots of anecdotes and descriptions to characterize Dadi, but of course there is no way she could have included every detail about her grandmother. How does this affect the narrative and Suleri's creditability?

2. Suleri's opinions come across when she says things like "her ridiculously heavy spouted waterpot" and "none of us, according to Dadi, were “pure enough to transport these particular items." How does this affect how the reader sees Dadi? Is it an injustice to Dadi if the reader sees her through Suleri's eyes?

3. Is Suleri's combination of childhood memories and more distanced adult perspective effective? Do you think it would be more effective if she only used one of them?
http://www.yale.edu/english/profiles/goodyear.html "Sara Suleri." Statemaster Encyclopedia. x. x. Sydney, Australia: Nation Master, 2003. Web. <http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Sara-Suleri>. Ahmad (1992) "Stylish, seamless and absorbing, Meatless Days is an exceptional autobiography which shimmers with a subtle elegiac beauty." The "very passion which throbs though the prose conversely works against the value of the narrative as a social document. It is curiously devoid of politics and social history, though many sentences reverberate with notions of both." "are largely self-absorbed, unaware and uncaring of the community outside." Suleri Family members: On the whole, Suleri remains mildly embarrassed but distant and detached from the violence and emotion of the real experiences of ordinary Pakistanis. An insensitivity which springs from real detachment and remoteness and is so extreme that it mars the beauty, of the exquisite prose with which it constrasts. The frail grandmother, Dadi, is really viewed as a circus freak and dies unmourned. There wasn't time, we're told. The servants are coldly button-holed by her memory into roles as cooks, butlers, gardeners, associated with various houses occupied by the family, never seen as individuals. But the most cruel caricature is reserved for her friend. Mustakori. It is a delineation that reeks of malice and hatred. None of the other friends who are satirised receive such vicious treatment. Suleri's failure to empathise with people beyond her immediate family circle

Her alienation from Pakistan itself and her unselfconscious elitism must account too for her ignorance of the real significance of meatless days in Pakistan.

Jokes about meatless days abound in the rarefied middle-class world but the grim fact is that they never were intended for the people who could circumvent the rationing. They do still pinch and are still a reality in the lives of the majority, the people who cannot. In that context the metaphor loses some of its finesse by acquiring an unintentional self-irony. Afzal-Khan (1991) "Through her meditative ruminations we are once again reminded of the arbitrary separation between public and private, of our weddedness to history. Suleri's own gesture to withdraw from the "newsprint" of her father's life...becomes, in this context, a non sequitur." "Paradoxically, it is a non sequitur that makes sense, in the same way that the book collapses the distinction between intellect and emotion and manages to further the definition of a female esthetic while writing, albeit subversively, within the bounds of a masculinist and Eurocentric theory of discourse. " Audience: Western-educated intellectual elite.

"Despite her strong connections to Pakistan, the elegiac tone of her book is in part an encoded farewell to the country of her youth. unfolds through metaphor rather than chronology, language conceals as much as it reveals; the juxtaposing of opacity and lucidity sits uneasily upon the reader. MEATLESS DAYS Lal, Vinay. "Beyond Alterity: A Review of Sara Suleri's 'The Rhetoric of English India.'" Economic and Political Weekly 30.5 (1995): 254-55. "Meatless Days was inherently non-linear. It originated in an essay about my Dadi: having written it, I felt compelled to extend my celebration to other intimates and to Pakistan. Yes, metaphor can ease the strain of grief." ~Suleri Works Cited Lee (1990) Suleri constantly reminds the reader that she is writing a public history. According to Suleri, she tried to create "a new kind of historical writing, whereby I give no introductions whatsoever. I use the names, the places, but I won't stop to describe them."

In contrast to other third world histories, which she criticizes as too "explanatory," Meatless Days simply presents Pakistan as it appeared to her. Using names and places without much definition, description, or explanation was her "attempt to make them register as immediately to the reader as it would to me." http://hermes.hrc.ntu.edu.tw/lctd/List/authorWork_Guide.asp?A_ID=129&W_ID=297#05 ~Lee "Suleri readily admits, 'How does one maintain a sense of privacy when you construct a text like this?' and she acknowledges, 'I'm sure I did reveal a lot' and that Meatless Days is 'a very private book' (Interview, December 1990)." Salman Rushdie Personal history acts as a woven bag holding and linking the content together. "Alternative history" of Pakistan.

For this reason, those critics who accuse her of writing a distant, cold autobiography may have missed the point... http://www.postcolonialweb.org/pakistan/literature/suleri/sspublic.html Dale Chris Historical Background:
"the middle years" p. 8--1947-1971
"the trying times"--around and after 1971, when East Pakistan became an independent nation. The reader, stunned by the dream, sees how Suleri ties in not only comical family feasts and the politics of withholding food but also a profoundly intimate love for her mother. http://hermes.hrc.ntu.edu.tw/lctd/List/authorWork_Guide.asp?A_ID=129&W_ID=297#03 Suleri says her work sits "between genres," at once neither fiction nor non-fiction.

"There's a lot of fiction in it. Some of the characters I invented, some of the incidents I invented. Minor things, when it was necessary."

Suleri admits she changed mostly temporal elements such as chronology.

"I compressed time, brought it closer together." The body Death/loss Personal and National Religion Independence (2)

Middle Years (5-7)

and the end (7)

the trying time (winter, 1971)

civil war time (Yahya Khan -- Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto )

the summer of trials by fire: General Zia; Islamization (16-17)

move into Punjab

her isolation -- stops talking to her son; smell death (8); being carried

family problems (9); Dadi oblivious of the proliferation of her grandchildren; quickening of time

Irfan (11-12), mother's going back to Wales, our part (powerlessness, violence, lack of innocent love) in history (14); Dadi's being burned in April (10-11; 14) --stopped praying

children left, mother buried, Dadi died in the same week when Bhutto was hanged (17-18); Ifat died (18) associational logic goodyear reactions? http://www.postcolonialweb.org/pakistan/literature/suleri/sspublic.html
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