Archive - June 28, 2010

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African Time
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Review: Peter Blair's poetry about the PC experience – Farang

African Time

by Pat Owen (Senegal 2003–05) Posted on the blog of PeaceCorpsWriters.org on October 5, 2005 • RAMADAN STARTED THIS WEEK, a holy month of fasting for over a billion Muslims around the world.  Every year there is heated debate among astronomers as to exactly what day Ramadan begins, as it all depends on when the new moon of the ninth lunar month appears.  Eclipses, clouds, and astronomical calculations all play a role.  Religious leaders line up on opposing sides, too, albeit for different reasons.   Some of them say that Muslims throughout the world should conform to an announcement coming from Saudi Arabia; others say that different regions should make their own decisions about when to begin the fast, depending on their view of the moon. If you are a Muslim living in a remote part of Africa, all this debate doesn’t matter. I know, because last year at this time . . .

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Review: Peter Blair's poetry about the PC experience – Farang

Tony Zurlo understands a little about being a “farang” from his own experience as a “yang gui zi” (foreign devil) teaching in China (1990–91). He has published several books on nonwestern cultures and history, including books about China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. His newest books of poetry are now available: Go Home Bones published by Pudding House Publications, about the effects of war on families and society; and Dali’s Clock, Schrodinger’s Cat, and a Pair of Dice published by Big Table Publishing Co., about the chaos of life in this new age of quantum and string theory. • Farang by Peter Blair (Thailand 1975–78) Pittsburg: Autumn House Press, 2009. $14.95 65 pages Reviewed by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1964–66) LIKE MOST PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS, Peter Blair had a passion for absorbing the culture of his host country. In Farang, a collection of thirty six poems, he offers a perceptive narrative in lyrical . . .

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