jump to navigation

05-25-09 Expatriate Literature, open chat

 The transcript below covers the complete #litchat conversation on May 25, 2009. The order appears sequentially from the first post to the final post. Topic was open discussion of expatriate literature.

LitChat Welcome to LitChat. This week’s topic is expatriate literature. We’re on for the next 60 minutes. Send questions and join us now. #litchat -12:57 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat It may be a bit slow today due to the holiday, but we’re here anyway. First question in next post. #litchat -12:59 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat Q1 What is expatriate literature and what makes it so compelling? #litchat -1:01 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit The interpretation of another culture by someone of our own #litchat -1:02 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike yes @mdbenoit, an expat writer draws on a collective cultural consciousness to talk about a different locale #litchat -1:05 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike if travel writing is a chance to travel vicariously, expat lit is a chance to live abroad vicariously #litchat -1:07 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass When I think of expat literature, I think of Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway. #litchat -1:08 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana I’m a Brit, lived in the States many year. Am now ex-pat author w/novel set in US and UK. Write what you know! #litchat -1:09 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass RT @Thandelike if travel writing is a chance to travel vicariously, expat lit is a chance to live abroad vicariously #litchat -1:10 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana how has your writing shifted since you moved? #litchat -1:10 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana I’ve always written in US, never in UK. But my upcoming novel is being pub’d in UK by Macmillan! #litchat -1:11 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit I’m an expat in my own country: a French Canadian in English Canada #litchat -1:11 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass @Thandelike Having lived abroad (Japan) and now a travel writer, I see your point about the differences. #litchat -1:11 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @mdbenoit Interesting situation to be in. Unnverving? #litchat -1:12 PM May 25th, 2009
pussreboots More recent ones that come to my mind: Bill Bryson, Marlena de Blasi, Chris Stewart and Peter Mayle #litchat -1:12 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana Enjoy Bryson. Makes me howl. #litchat -1:12 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana The culture is amazingly different #litchat -1:13 PM May 25th, 2009
artistatlarge Oh! #litchat Since when? Hello! -1:13 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @mdbenoit Where in Canada are you now? #litchat -1:14 PM May 25th, 2009
VanessaDobbs RT maggiedana Enjoy Bryson. Makes me howl. Me too #litchat -1:14 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat @artistatlarge We just began today’s chat at 4 pm/edt. Topic is expatriate literature. Join us! #litchat -1:14 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana is your subject matter now UK-related and to what degree does your home culture appear in your work? #litchat -1:15 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Are you still in Turkey? Where else have you lived? #litchat -1:16 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana Ottawa, but lived in a lot of places #litchat -1:16 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana schooled in Rome, lived 5 years in Southeast Asia (Malaysia) and now 6 years in Istanbul, where I still am #litchat -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
artistatlarge Oops, I meant Lawrence Durrell! (not DH Lawrence!) #litchat -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Women’s fiction, mid-life reunion set in US and UK, about perils of rekindling old flames when oceans apart. #litchat -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
llunalila RT @LitChat: @artistatlarge We just began today’s chat at 4 pm/edt. Topic is expatriate literature. Join us! #litchat GREAT! -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass @zintaaistars Oh that is so true. I find myself in that latter category all too often. #litchat. -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
jamesgleventhal RT @artistatlarge Oops, I meant Lawrence Durrell! (not DH Lawrence!) #litchat -1:17 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Home culture appears a lot. It’s fun to write from both sides of the fence … um, pond. #litchat -1:18 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass @zintaaistars Are you following #litchat? We’re talking about expatriate literature today. -1:18 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit so besides language, what separates your Canadian readers?do you write about English-speaking Canada for French-speakers? #litchat -1:19 PM May 25th, 2009
pussreboots @maggiedana What’s your book called? It sounds good. #litchat -1:19 PM May 25th, 2009
artistatlarge Cripes my first post didn’t go through – Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell are who I think of as expat writers #litchat -1:19 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Great fodder for your work. Do you speak Arabic (is that language of Turkey? #litchat -1:19 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike I write in English, but my franco culture seeps through everything: characters, language, music, food #litchat -1:20 PM May 25th, 2009
jamesgleventhal @artistatlarge love the #litchat. kno anyone in Vanc./Vict., Brit. Col. area as culturevulture 4 friend 2 connect re: museums? @owl_ -1:20 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @pussreboots My novel is called Beachcombing, due out June 5th in the UK. #litchat -1:20 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana The Turks speak Turkish, they’re a Turkic people. Not Arab. I speak some Turkish and my 1st book translated into Turkis #litchat -1:21 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @mdbenoit Good to know your culture is alive and well in your writing. #litchat -1:22 PM May 25th, 2009
llunalila @artistatlarge Nabokov was so expat he even changed his native language. I’d love to be able to write in English as he did! #litchat -1:22 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Um, I ought to know that, given I’m listening to audio book about history of middle east! #litchat -1:22 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana I believe it’s what gives the writing a sharper colour #litchat -1:23 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat observation re. “Expat Harem” in Turkish: expat lit translated for base culture loses a lot in the translation #litchat -1:23 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike A UK friend just spent 5 days in Istanbul. Loved it. #litchat -1:23 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike I would imagine so, because they wouldn’t see themselves the same way #litchat -1:24 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @mdbenoit Great way of putting it. Must be your French coming out! #litchat -1:24 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana There’s a different cultural flavour, as well, ’cause of the mixed brew… #litchat -1:25 PM May 25th, 2009
artistatlarge #litchat Milan Kundera is a wonderful expat writer. Combines culture, landscape, Czech writer, lives in Paris. -1:25 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit and opposite result –>they don’t see themselves at all. sometimes what foreigners notice goes unnoticed by natives #litchat -1:26 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike Of course. They take it for granted. It’s simply there, no question #litchat -1:27 PM May 25th, 2009
pussreboots Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas takes a interesting & entertaining look at California culture from an expat POV #litchat -1:27 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat Q2 fm @mitaliperkins: Why do readers seem to prefer an “outsider” protag’s view of another country/culture to an “insider” protag? #litchat -1:27 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike I think that’s called ‘the forgiving eye.’ I don’t notice the weeds in my lawn; my neighbors, sadly, do! #litchat -1:27 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit this is where expat lit can excel: to point out the unseen. things travelers either miss, or misunderstand #litchat -1:27 PM May 25th, 2009
writingtravel RT @artistatlarge: #litchat Milan Kundera is a wonderful expat writer. Combines culture, landscape, Czech writer, lives in Paris. -1:28 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @LitChat Having lived in US for many years, I enjoy reading/hearing another Brit’s view of Americans. #litchat -1:28 PM May 25th, 2009
VanessaDobbs @Thandelike that’strue ofa lot of things inlife.It takesan outsider to see objectively what we do #litchat -1:28 PM May 25th, 2009
BookRambler #litchat Q2 not sure this is an accurate statement- surely it’s authors who find it easy to use ‘outsider’ or ‘alien’ -1:28 PM May 25th, 2009
llunalila @LitChat maybe because they can feel more identified with the outsider and learn from that culture that way #litchat -1:29 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie @LitChat re: Q2 “outsiders” can view a culture with more objectivity than an “insider” #litchat -1:29 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit Traveling doesn’t give you enough time to “see”. You have to live it. #litchat -1:29 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @BookRambler They are outsiders, aren’t they? They see from outside in #litchat -1:31 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky Don’t we trust the “insider” view more, yet appreciate an outsider’s observations? Just a thought…#litchat -1:31 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @dosankodebbie Not necessarily. We look with our own cultural biases sometimes #litchat -1:31 PM May 25th, 2009
VanessaDobbs Q2 we’re outsiders ourselves so feelmore able to identify #litchat -1:31 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mjmbecky expat lit offers that outsider’s view from the inside: when it’s good, it’s the best of both worlds #litchat -1:32 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike how do the Turks view Obama? #litchat -1:33 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike How do expat Turks view your book? #litchat -1:34 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana I like to think that they like him, and his visit here this spring was well-received #litchat -1:34 PM May 25th, 2009
niltiac @artistatlarge I’ve read 1 Milan Kundera book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I loved it. I didn’t realise he was still alive! #litchat -1:34 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Good to hear. International news isn’t covered as well in US as elsewhere. #litchat -1:35 PM May 25th, 2009
BookRambler @mdbenoit that’s my point, I think they’re often an easy foil used to show up the alien-ness of the foreign #litchat -1:35 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit expat Turks = Turks abroad? on our book tour across America they hosted us in 10 states. cried at our readings,gifted bk #litchat -1:35 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike That means you did a great job! #litchat -1:36 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit some said “now i know what my life might be if I return to Turkey” since life in America made them more like our writers #litchat -1:36 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike How hard is it for Turks to assimilate in other countries? #litchat -1:36 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit others said “now my children will understand what kind of country i come from, they’ll believe you but not their dad” #litchat -1:37 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Did they seem eager to return home? #litchat -1:37 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie That’s a good point. RT @mdbenoit: @dosankodebbie Not necessarily. We look with our own cultural biases sometimes #litchat -1:37 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @BookRambler Yes, but there’s a fine line between using the “alien” as foil and make it comical and non-credible #litchat -1:37 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Sounds like teenagers and kids the world over! #litchat -1:38 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana my Expat Harem coeditor and I were given an award by an international Turkish PR organization, they embraced it #litchat -1:38 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike I can hear the kids: Yeah, yeah, yeah, dad… #litchat -1:39 PM May 25th, 2009
BookRambler @mdbenoit yes. there are a lot of tired and cliched books but the good can be effective #litchat -1:39 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Well done! You must have been very proud. Big diff between US/Turkish culture, but you bridged it. #litchat -1:40 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Who’s your publisher? #litchat -1:40 PM May 25th, 2009
VanessaDobbs @Thandelike glad to hear that #litchat -1:40 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit A writer friend of mine now living in Canada wrote about her experience of Russia’s invasion of Hungary. Affecting #litchat -1:41 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana thanks, we were happy! apparently we made a tear-jerker of a book. Dogan Kitap in TR, Seal Press in North America #litchat -1:41 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat Q3 fm @insidebooks: Is being away a more powerful stimulus to writing? Is an eye clouded by memory and longing more perceptive? #litchat -1:41 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @maggiedana you asked if ppl eager to return home. most ppl abroad have love-hate relationship with their homeland #litchat -1:42 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana Yep. She was 12 #litchat -1:42 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike Hard for me to believe. I adore UK, miss it like mad. #litchat -1:42 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @LitChat Good points. I know I see England through rose-tinted glasses. Still love it, tho, warts ‘n all. #litchat -1:43 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @LitChat Nostalgia can sharpen comparison, but it can also be destructive #litchat -1:44 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat Q3 that love-hate relationship with their homeland is absolutely affected by nostalgia, frozen time, present state of mind #litchat -1:44 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @mdbenoit I remember that invasion vividly. Was in school in England. #litchat -1:44 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie re: Q2.A thoughtful expat will question and analyze his own cultural biases. The reader can do this vicariously. #litchat -1:44 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat RT @mjmbecky Do people really prefer that? I did my MA in Eng., seemed we liked insider view of a country, but outsider reflection. #litchat -1:45 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana I edited her book (she self-published) but was recently interviewed by a UK radio show. #litchat -1:45 PM May 25th, 2009
VanessaDobbs @mdbenoit good point. Too much nostalgia destructive #litchat -1:46 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana I meant my friend was interviewed, not me #litchat -1:48 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @maggiedana Very. Same as @Thandelike, Hungarians abroad love it. Also Hungarian in Budapest. She has quite a following. #litchat -1:50 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mdbenoit the writer is Hungarian, writing from Canada, about a primarily Hungarian topic? to me that is emigree lit! #litchat -1:50 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike Ah. You’re right of course. #litchat -1:51 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat @Thandelike What is the difference between expat lit and emigree lit? #litchat -1:53 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie As a non-Japanese who’s lived in Japan all my life books written about JP by expats often irritate me because I notice the errors. #litchat -1:53 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat theory–> if subject is primarily your homeland and you live abroad as emigree, that’s emigree lit #litchat -1:54 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @LitChat Am really interested in the main themes of nationalism and how they appear to expat. #litchat -1:54 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass @dosankodebbie Looking at your twit name, I wondered if you had a Japanese connection. I lived there for 3 years. #litchat -1:55 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @LitChat Really adds this idea of hypocrisy and blindness to a nation’s view of itself, or am I missing something? #litchat -1:55 PM May 25th, 2009
pussreboots #litchat @dosankodebbie Give an example of what the expats get wrong about Japan. -1:55 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat if you’re living outside home culture writing about where you are, and even the rest of the world = expat lit #litchat -1:56 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat @Thandelike Thank you for defining that difference. I wasn’t aware of the distinction. #litchat -1:57 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @dosankodebbie what do you think of Pico Iyer’s writing on Japan? he calls himself a travel writer but has lived in JP #litchat -1:57 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @Thandelike Is there more of a feeling of “forced” exile with expat. than with emigree? More political reasons? #litchat -1:58 PM May 25th, 2009
mactavish @jlist? – RT @pussreboots: #litchat @dosankodebbie Give an example of what the expats get wrong about Japan. -1:58 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat just theorizing…in the litchat flow. but bells ringing somewhere in distance #litchat -1:59 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @mjmbecky I would say it’s the opposite. An expat lives voluntarily in another country #litchat -2:00 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mjmbecky my impression is that emigrees are politically motivated more often than expats #litchat -2:00 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @mjmbecky An emigre often moves for difficult reasons, political, financial, etc. #litchat -2:01 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat We’ve reached the end of our official 1-hr LitChat, but the chatroom stays open, so feel free to continue. #litchat -2:02 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie #litchat @pussreboots most frequently incorrect use of JP words. also misconceptions about food. Non-JP values expressed in a JP character. -2:03 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat If you need to move on now, please remember to join us on Wed for more expat lit chat. On Friday @Thandelike is guest host. #litchat -2:03 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @Thandelike A huge thank you for hanging out with us this afternoon. I’ve learned new stuff and met new people. Been great. #litchat -2:04 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @Thandelike Interesting. Why do you think they are not as politically motivated? Is it more creative? #litchat -2:04 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @LitChat Great topic! Loved it! #litchat -2:04 PM May 25th, 2009
maggiedana @LitChat Who’s featured on Wed? Same lovely person as today??? #litchat -2:04 PM May 25th, 2009
CarolyBurnsBass @dosankodebbie Are these JP errors made by expat Japanese in US? Or American expats in Japan? #litchat -2:05 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @LitChat thanks for moderating and to all chatting tonight, the hour flew by, holiday weekend and all! #litchat -2:05 PM May 25th, 2009
mdbenoit @Thandelike Yes, thank you. It was my first time here and I loved it! Great chatting with everyone. #litchat -2:06 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @Thandelike Thanks! Can’t wait until Friday. Have a real fascination w/ Turkey after travels there and will check out your work! #litchat -2:06 PM May 25th, 2009
Thandelike @mjmbecky can be more creative, a freedom/urge to explore, and there are plenty of expats in business. #litchat -2:06 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat @maggiedana On M+W we have open chat about our topic of week. On Friday, we have guest host. This Fri is @Thandelike. #litchat -2:06 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat Thanks to everyone for another great chat @mdbenoit @Thandelike @CarolyBurnsBass @maggiedana @pussreboots @artistatlarge. #litchat -2:08 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat More LitChat thanks to @VanessaDobbs @llunalila @jamesgleventhal @writingtravel. #litchat -2:09 PM May 25th, 2009
LitChat And still more LitChat thanks to @BookRambler @dosankodebbie @mjmbecky @niltiae @mactavish. #litchat -2:10 PM May 25th, 2009
mjmbecky @mdbenoit Makes sense. Often think of them in terms of politics, but many Expats more creative… #litchat Thanks! -2:13 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie #litchat @CarolyBurnsBass I should’ve specified that my comments refer to fiction, not non-fiction. -2:17 PM May 25th, 2009
dosankodebbie #litchat @CarolyBurnsBass I’ve read lots of GREAT non-fiction about JP by ex-pats who thoroughly know their field- finance, politics, etc -2:22 PM May 25th, 2009

Comments»

1. Hybrid life writing - March 13, 2011

[…] question during a week of live #litchat on Twitter when I guest hosted in May 2009. (Transcripts here and here and […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: