Tara Masih, editor of the anthology The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays, recently was interviewed by Two Scrybes Media about how her standalone book of intercultural essays came about.
Included in the collection are essays by Boston writers Tilia Klebenov Jacobs and Katrina Grigg-Saito.
Produced by Michael Robert Berry and Lara L. Croft, Scrybes is a public access television show in Plaistow, N.H.
Video of the interview is below, as is another segment where Masih talks about her own short story collection, Where the Dog Star Never Glows.
About The Chalk Circle
Twenty prizewinners are gathered for the first time in a ground-breaking anthology that explores many facets of culture not previously found under one cover. The powerful, honest, thoughtful voices — Native American, African American, Asian, European, Jewish, white — speak daringly on topics not often discussed in the open, on subjects such as racism, war, self-identity, gender, societal expectations. Includes extensive, in-depth discussion questions for book clubs and instructors, along with fun, challenging “NET assignments” for high school and college students; and an introduction by acclaimed writer David Mura. Winner of a Skipping Stones Honor Award.
The phrase “chalk circle” is inspired by a quote by Jane Welsh Carlyle, a well-known writer of letters, who in 1845 wrote:
Instead of boiling up individuals into the species, I would draw a chalk circle round every individuality, and preach to it to keep within that, and preserve and cultivate its identity.
As Masih says in the interview, “chalk is somewhat permeable” and “we do absorb other cultures and we are influenced by each other.”
Chalk Circle has been adopted at Columbia, Rutgers-Newark, Tiffin University, NYU, and Salem State.
More about the local writers:
About Where the Dog Star Never Glows
“There is precision in her prose that manages to capture the larger essence of character, of world and worldview, in a single stroke. . . . the vast array of settings is completely breathtaking. . . . Masih demonstrates that short fiction doesn’t mean small ideas. This is a global collection that uses culture as more than color. Asking what it means to be a tourist, to be ruled, to belong, she crafts stories that delve into the essential questions of human nature that are never overly dense and are always pleasant to read.”
—Alex Myers, NewPages.com