Room to Fly (Hardcover)

A Transcultural Memoir

By Padma Hejmadi

University of California Press, 9780520215061, 214pp.

Publication Date: November 4, 1999

List Price: 47.95*
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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.

About the Author

Padma Hejmadi (who has also written under the name Padma Perera) is the author of "Birthday Deathday" and Other Stories (1985 and 1992); "Dr. Salaam" and Other Stories of India (1978); and Coigns of Vantage (1975). Her work has been anthologized in Mirrorwork: Fifty Years of Indian Writing, 1947-1997 (1997), edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West. Her shorter work has been published in the New Yorker and other publications. She has also held solo exhibitions of photography and visual art, with her work on the cover of this and other books.