Crossing Borders, The Immigrant Voice in American Literature
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Panelist, Clark Blaise

Clark Blaise Clark Blaise is the child of expatriate Canadians (father French-Canadian, mother English-Canadian) who roamed the United States in search of better employment. Blaise has written, "As a native-born American with foreign parents, and as a child who attended an average of two schools a year in 25 different cities, I grew up with an outsider's view of America and a romanticized exile's view of French Canada. . .My interest is in 'tribalism' on the American continent, and in all groups who refuse amalgamation and prefer codes and taboos of their own."

Southern Stories (2000), Blaise's most recent story collection, deals with his feelings of displacement as a fat, lethargic Canadian-American boy living in various rural areas of central Florida. Another book by Blaise, Time Lord: Sir Sanford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time, appeared in March of 2001. The book recounts the remarkable life of the Scotch-Canadian who, with the invention of time zones, succeeded in imposing order on the world's methods of measuring time. Critics are searching for clues as to why Blaise, given his past obsessions with identity and alienation, has applied himself to a study of the creation of standard time. The Ottawa Citizen believes it knows the answer: "Clark Blaise never stays in one spot for too long. No wonder he wrote a book about time zones. Really, he's been writing it all his life."

Clark Blaise is former director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and former professor of English at Skidmore College. He and fellow panelist Bharati Mukherjee have been married for 40 years. They both view themselves as "outsiders" in North American society, and share an interest in the experiences of people who don't quite "fit in."

A North American Education (stories; 1973)
Tribal Justice (stories; 1974)
Lunar Attraction (novel; 1979)
Lusts (novel; 1983)
Resident Alien (stories; 1986)
Man and His World (stories; 1992)
I Had a Father (autobiographical)
Southern Stories (2000
Pittsburgh Stories (Porcupine’s Quill, 2001)

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