Assistant Professor: A Novel of Sorts. a Tribute to R. K. Narayan
A timeless search for personal identity where the various kinds of love penetrate one another in unexpected ways
Following in the footsteps of his literary hero, India s R. K. Narayan, the protagonist and assistant professor, Thomas Sleiman, explores the relationship among the different kinds of loves in the heady context of a search for personal identity. Erotic, divine, and familial loves all compete and complement one another in the life of Thomas, who is not the regular literary gangster, or the predictable member of a community of deviant dilettante. . .as the conclusion, with all of its mysticism, genuine affection, respect for the dead Narayan, and devotion to the beloved, clearly testifies. - Anthony Aookeregbe In An Assistant Professor Salam skillfully combines postmodern and traditional perspectives to create a profound, moving, and sometimes disturbing vision of a life and career spanning ethnic, geographical, moral, and ideological boundaries. . .As he surveys the wreckage of the postmodern world, Salam s carefully situated narrative is enriched by reflections on the literary work of Narayan and Graham Greene as well as on a shelf-full of contemporary poets, philosophers, and theologians. . .One is left in the end puzzling over whose voice is heard when the main character protests that I don't live to write nor do I write to live. I am just an Assistant Professor, professing mostly my ignorance of things that most everyone else thinks are obvious. For some mysterious reason, I have been compelled lately to write a book, which I want people to read.' They will not be disappointed. - Meister Richard Woods, O.P.'
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