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Bright Felon

Autobiography and Cities

Kazim Ali

Publication Year: 2009

This groundbreaking, transgenre work--part detective story, part literary memoir, part imagined past--is intensely autobiographical and confessional. Proceeding sentence by sentence, city by city, and backwards in time, poet and essayist Kazim Ali details the struggle of coming of age between cultures, overcoming personal and family strictures to talk about private affairs and secrets long held. The text is comprised of sentences that alternate in time, ranging from discursive essay to memoir to prose poetry. Art, history, politics, geography, love, sexuality, writing, and religion, and the role silence plays in each, are its interwoven themes. Bright Felon is literally "autobiography" because the text itself becomes a form of writing the life, revealing secrets, and then, amid the shards and fragments of experience, dealing with the aftermath of such revelations. Bright Felon offers a new and active form of autobiography alongside such texts as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee, Lyn Hejinian's My Life, and Etel Adnan's In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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p. vii

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p. ix

Gratitude to Meena Alexander, brave speaker. To the kind editorial eye, keen ear for the phrase, and quick-slashing pen of Joshua Marie Wilkinson. To Marco Wilkinson, who saw me through it. To my cousins Haider Saeed and Laura van Alphen, whose friendship I have always counted on ...

Marble Hill

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pp. 1-6


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pp. 7-13


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pp. 14-19


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pp. 20-27


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pp. 28-35

New York City

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pp. 36-42


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pp. 43-48


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pp. 49-55


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pp. 56-61

New York City

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pp. 62-67


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pp. 68-73

Washington, DC

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pp. 74-78


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pp. 79-85


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pp. 86-90

Barcelona (an Epilogue)

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pp. 91-96

E-ISBN-13: 9780819569936
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819569165

Page Count: 116
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 728657663
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Bright Felon

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Subject Headings

  • American poetry.
  • Poetry.
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