A Flat Place: Moving Through Empty Landscapes, Naming Complex Trauma

Pre-Order   Ships Jun 06, 2023

Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Melville House Publishing
Publish Date
0.0 X 0.0 X 0.0 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Noreen Masud is a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature at the University of Bristol, and an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker 2020. Her work focuses on the twentieth century, writing about things which, in one way or another, present variously as absurd, unrevealing, embarrassing or useless. These include aphorisms, flatness, puppets, nonsense, leftovers, earworms, footnotes, rhymes, hymns, surprises, folk songs, colors and superstition.


UK Blurbs and Reviews:

'A moving, lyrical and frank reflection on place, space and the shifting contours of self. This a new kind of migration narrative, one that finds stories in both stillness and movement, in flatness and undulation' - Priyamvada Gopal, author of Insurgent Empire

'Haunting and generous, beautifully written, revealing and refusing in the best ways - this book is a gift to all who have experienced complex trauma, all who seek the long view, all who crave solitude as we do community, all who see in flat landscapes the chance to reflect on the depths of the self as it heals' - Preti Taneja, author of Aftermath

'Noreen Masud conjures a sensibility that has eluded most - writers hoodwinked into supposing that what's flat must be empty of significance. But to dwell upon flatness, as Masud does, is to find oneself reoriented. It is to ask who we are and where we are if we no longer take the bait of imagining our lives as a dig or a summit or a horizon' - Devorah Baum, author of Feeling Jewish

'Like the flat places she so values, Masud 'refuses to perform beauty in predictable ways'. Mountains are 'coercive' in their beauty - likewise a culture that expects survivors of trauma to pinpoint a rupture and overcome it. Noreen Masud invites us to think instead on places without desire - places that are forgiving because they are absorbed in being themselves. She uses them as a balm against a personal trauma that never had a climax, no event that could be scaled like a mountain face in the terrain of therapy. A Flat Place cuts new ground, mixing literary criticism, decolonial history, and boldly anti-Romantic 'nature' writing, in searing prose as sad as it is funny, to confront the noninnocence of writing 'nature' and place. This is an important and original interruption of the so-called 'nature cure' - Abi Andrews, author of The Word for Woman is Wilderness

'Noreen Masud's a flat place is very much in the Robert Macfarlane tradition of writing about the natural world, and the idea of a book that forgoes peaks and depths is ambitious' - Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman