Thursday, September 28, 2017

What is Sujatha Fernandes reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Sujatha Fernandes, author of Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling.

Her entry begins:
Among my favorite books I’ve read this year is Lisa Ko’s book The Leavers about a Chinese migrant in New York City who mysteriously disappears one day, leaving her son to be adopted by a white family in New Jersey. I thought that the book superbly described so many different worlds, from immigrant New York, to white suburban Jersey, and an industrialized Fuzhou. I also loved the descriptions of music in the novel, which helped evoke so much about the struggles of the main protagonist. It reminded me of...[read on]
About Curated Stories, from the publisher:
Storytelling has proliferated today, from TED Talks and Humans of New York to a plethora of story-coaching agencies and consultants. These narratives are typically heartbreaking accounts of poverty, mistreatment, and struggle that often move us deeply. But what do they move us to? And what are the stakes in the crafting and use of storytelling?

In Curated Stories, Sujatha Fernandes considers the rise of storytelling alongside the broader shift to neoliberal, free-market economies to argue that stories have been reconfigured to promote entrepreneurial self-making and restructured as easily digestible soundbites mobilized toward utilitarian ends. Fernandes roams the globe and returns with stories from the Afghan Women's Writing Project, the domestic worker and undocumented student legislative campaigns in the United States, and the Misión Cultura project in Venezuela. She shows how the conditions under which stories are told, the tropes through which they are narrated, and the ways in which they are responded to may actually disguise the deeper contexts of global inequality. Curated stories shift the focus away from structural problems and defuse the confrontational politics of social movements.

Not just a critical examination of contemporary use of narrative and its wider impact on our collective understanding of pressing social issues, Curated Stories also explores how storytelling might be reclaimed to allow for the complexity of experience to be expressed in pursuit of transformative social change.
Visit Sujatha Fernandes's website.

The Page 99 Test: Who Can Stop the Drums?.

The Page 99 Test: Curated Stories.

Writers Read: Sujatha Fernandes.

--Marshal Zeringue