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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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今週のNYTの書評はオススメ

 
日本は移民を受け入れに消極的でトランプやヨーロッパの極右が参考にしたいであろう国ですから、移民や難民といったトピックには馴染みが少ないですね。しかも、戦前はたくさんの移民を送り出した過去に目をつぶって「国民性」とか「伝統」とかを持ち出して今の現状を肯定するおめでたい心情も持ち合わせています。

書き出しから皮肉を効かせてしまいましたが、今週のニューヨークタイムズの書評はBorder Crossingsをテーマに小説からノンフィクションまで幅広く本を取り上げてくれています。ここまで一つのトピックに絞って紹介するのは珍しい気がします。

Dear Reader...
This week is devoted to Border Crossings – fiction and nonfiction that deal with issues of global migration, refugees, immigrants, expatriates, and national and transnational identity – proving that occasionally the slower-moving world of book publishing keeps up with the latest news headlines.
The books here range from a look at the world's largest refugee camp by a former Human Rights Watch researcher to Ian Buruma's account of his grandparents' Jewish and English identities during the war years of the 20th century. "The Cosmopolites," a report on the growing market in citizenship, is part of a new publishing effort out of Columbia University, Columbia Global Reports, which offers short, newsy books on underreported issues of global import.
The Border Crossings theme extends to fiction and includes a review by Lee Child of Lawrence Osborne's latest novel, "Hunters in the Dark," about an expat in Cambodia, and a review of Janice Y. K. Lee's second novel, "The Expatriates," about wealthy Americans abroad in Hong Kong.
Please stay in touch and let us know what you think – whether it's about this newsletter, the reviews or the books themselves. We read and ponder all of it, even hate mail. You can email us at books@nytimes.com.
Pamela Paul
Editor of The New York Times Book Review


ノンフィクションではケニアの難民キャンプ、小説では香港に住むアメリカ人Expatを取り上げた本を大きく取り上げていました。

‘City of Thorns,’ by Ben Rawlence
By CAROLINE MOOREHEADJAN. 15, 2016

‘The Expatriates,’ by Janice Y. K. Lee
By MAGGIE POUNCEYJAN. 11, 2016

そんな中、北朝鮮拉致問題に取り上げた本や戦前アメリカと日本に住んだ日系人家族の本も書評で紹介してくれていました。

‘The Invitation-Only Zone,’ by Robert S. Boynton
By SHEILA MIYOSHI JAGERJAN. 15, 2016

‘Midnight in Broad Daylight,’ by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
By GARY KAMIYAJAN. 15, 2016

中東の女性について記事をいろいろ読んでいたので書評を読んだ後いきおいで買ってしまった本は次の本。書評の書き出しも興味深いです。我々はすぐにイスラムのベールの「後進性」に目が行き、ここの女性の考えまで思いが届いていないというのです。むしろThe hijab was meant to obscure a woman’s sexuality, not her individuality.とみなすことができるのだというのです。確かに日本では女性の場合すぐに男性目線の「美人すぎる〜」といった見かけをベースにしたレッテルを貼られてしまいますが、ベールを被っていればそのような視線を抜きにした部分で勝負できるようになりますね。

‘Excellent Daughters,’ by Katherine Zoepf
By LAURA SECORJAN. 12, 2016

“Why are foreigners so interested in the hijab?” a devout young Syrian woman demanded after reading a newspaper article by Katherine Zoepf in which she appeared. “We spent so many months talking to you about what we think, what we believe, what is on our minds.”

Zoepf considered the criticism with a characteristic combination of realism and sensitivity. It was true that outsiders often fixated on the hijab, or the Islamic covering of women’s hair and body shape, as though this were the most salient aspect of Muslim women’s lives, when it was arguably among the more superficial. But the symbolic power of women’s dress was not a foreign invention, Zoepf felt. Muslim women, too, devoted inordinate time to debating and assessing their own and one another’s veils. Still, she conceded that her interlocutor had voiced an important point: The hijab was meant to obscure a woman’s sexuality, not her individuality.


もう一冊勢いで買ってしまったのがこちらの本。我々はパスポートを携帯して出国することに疑問を持っていませんが、定住概念がないベドウィンの場合はどうすればよいのでしょうか。そんな国民国家からこぼれ出る状況を紹介してくれています。



‘The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen,’ by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
By RICHARD BELLAMYJAN. 11, 2016

In 2008 the United Arab Emirates came up with a novel solution to their bidoon “problem” — the presence of thousands of stateless persons within their territories. Most bidoon descend from families who resided there long before the creation of the U.A.E.; many were from nomadic tribes and simply failed to register as nationals at the time. Yet they have been denied citizenship. That status would give them access to the myriad benefits accorded full members of this wealthy oil state — from free health care and education, to a guaranteed income, subsidized utilities, a marriage bonus, land and an interest-free house loan. Instead, they are categorized as illegal immigrants.

To regularize their situation, the authorities hit on the innovative scheme of buying citizenship from an impoverished African state, the Comoro Islands, and bestowing it on the bidoon. By purchasing passports from a country of which the bidoon had neither knowledge nor connection, let alone any desire to join or even visit, the Emiratis sought to divest themselves of any obligations. The bidoon would now be somebody else’s problem. In 2014 Kuwait adopted a similar policy, though the bidoon constitute an ­estimated 25 percent of the army.


英語教師もサラリーマンも日本のドメドメ環境に浸りきって生活しています。今回の書評はそんなドメドメ環境では味わえない視点を提供してもらえる貴重な機会となります。ぜひお試しください!! Yutaの場合は買ってしまった本を読み進めないといけないなと思っています(汗)
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