http://buddhistfictionblog.wordpress.com/ is a new blog recently launched by Kimberly Beek, a PhD candidate student at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Aside from providing a place for readers to discuss their favourite books online, Kimberly is also engaged in research. Here’s an excerpt from her blog about that…
“The proliferation of Buddhist ideas has found a way into mainstream popular literature in North America in the form of what is called Buddhist Fiction – short stories and novels that dramatize Buddhist experiences, teachings and worldviews. Buddhist Fiction functions as a sort of “vernacular” by translating the world religious tradition we know as Buddhism into images, symbols and themes that are relevant to a Western, English reading context and audience. This kind of translation also helps to identify and shape the identities of Buddhists in North America who have converted to, relocated with, or inherited Buddhism.
“Between the months of January 2010 to March 2012, I am exploring how Buddhist identities are reflected in stories of Buddhist Fiction. I am conducting two types of fieldwork: author interviews and reader response focus groups, which will help me to examine the ways in which Buddhist Fiction can be read as a type of discussion between various voices who imagine the nature and character of Buddhism in North America.”
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