The Indian subcontinent has been a land of immigrants for thousands of years: waves of migration from Persia, Central Asia, Mongolia, the Middle East and Greece have helped create India´s exceptionally diverse cultural mix. In the centuries before the British Raj, when the Mughals were the preeminent power in the subcontinent, a wide array of migrants known as ´firangis´ made India their home. In this book, Jonathan Gil Harris, a 21st-century firangi, tells their stories. These gripping accounts are of healers, soldiers, artists, ascetics, thieves, pirates and courtesans who were not powerful or privileged. Often they were escaping poverty or religious persecution; many were brought here as slaves; others simply followed their spirit of adventure. Some of these migrants were absorbed into the military. Others fell in with religious communities - the Catholics of Rachol, the underground Jews of Goa, the fakirs of Ajmer, the Sufis of Delhi. Healers from Portugal and Italy adapted their medical practice in accordance with local traditions. Gifted artisans from Europe joined Akbar´s and Jahangir´s royal ateliers and helped create enduring works of art. And though almost invisible within the archival record, some migrant women, such as the Armenian Bibi Juliana and the Portuguese Juliana Dias da Costa, found a home in royal Mughal harems. Jonathan Gil Harris uses his own experience of becoming Indian through the process of acclimatizing to the country´s culture, customs, weather, food, clothes and customs to bring the stories of these shadowy figures to vivid life. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Fajer Al-Kaisi. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/029047/bk_adbl_029047_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Humor is the most celebrated of all Jewish responses to modernity. In this book, Ruth Wisse evokes and applauds the genius of spontaneous Jewish joking - as well as the brilliance of comic masterworks by writers like Heinrich Heine, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, S. Y. Agnon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Philip Roth. At the same time, Wisse draws attention to the precarious conditions that call Jewish humor into being - and the price it may exact from its practitioners and audience. Wisse broadly traces modern Jewish humor around the world, teasing out its implications as she explores memorable and telling examples from German, Yiddish, English, Russian, and Hebrew. Among other topics, the book looks at how Jewish humor channeled Jewish learning and wordsmanship into new avenues of creativity, brought relief to liberal non-Jews in repressive societies, and enriched popular culture in the United States. Even as it invites listeners to consider the pleasures and profits of Jewish humor, the book asks difficult but fascinating questions: Can the excess and extreme self-ridicule of Jewish humor go too far and backfire in the process? And is ´´leave ´em laughing´´ the wisest motto for a people that others have intended to sweep off the stage of history? 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dina Pearlman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/017156/bk_adbl_017156_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.