Suspicious Circumstances. What?

By A. Robert Lee

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Suspicious Circumstances. What? offers forty-plus vignettes, antic soundings in the ways of the world’s maze and clue. Suspicions: hard to leave home without them. Circumstances: hard to escape them. Prose and poetry. Monologue and colloquy. The text steers between contemplating the demise of the vulture population in India and a video conference with Emily Dickinson, the sight of a Spanish pigeon parading itself as a parrot and the accusing sound of a crunched drink-can in the cinema. Its second half interrogates the implications of the word what. The what of what’s what and the what of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be.”

A. Robert Lee was a professor in the English Department at Nihon University, Tokyo 1997-2011, having previously taught at the University of Kent, UK. Currently he lives in Murcia, Spain. His creative writings include Japan Textures: Sight and Word, with Mark Gresham (2007), Tokyo Commute (2011), Ars Geographica: Maps and Compasses (2012), Portrait and Landscape: Further Geographies (2013), Imaginarium: Sightings, Galleries, Sightlines (2013), Americas (2015), Off Course: Roundabouts & Deviations (2016), Password: A Book of Locks and Keys (2016), Written Eye: Visuals/Verse (2017), Alunizaje/Lunar Landings, with Blas Miras (2019), and Writer Directory: A Book of Encounters (2019). Among his academic publications are Multicultural American Literature: Comparative Black, Native, Latino/a and Asian American Fictions (2003), which won the American Book Award in 2004, and Modern American Counter Writing: Beats, Outriders, Ethnics (2010).

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