American Canyon by Amarnath Ravva
Blending myth with interviews and first-person narrative, California-based writer Amarnath Ravva’s American Canyon uses prose, documentary footage and still photos to recount the fragmented and ever-evolving story of one person’s apprehension of the ghosts of history. Written from a series of video notes taken over a period of ten years, this narrative of a son’s love for his mother and the ritual he performs for her takes us from California to Rameswaram, the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. It is a meditation on the moments in history that placed him in front of a small bright fire, a lament for the continual loss of those who, by remembering, let us know who we are. Ravva’s American Canyon has been described by poet and author Kevin Killian as “a complex reworking of memoir form, using the tools of poetry remelted, as in Vulcan’s forge, to slash away at the ghosts and ghouls of conventional prose usage. The new journalism, Ravva-style, stimulates the nerve endings with its alternately lush and spare renditions of some spectacular settings...” Ravva has given readings and performed at LACMA, Machine Project, the MAK Center at the Schindler House, New Langton Arts, the Hammer Museum, USC, Pomona, CalArts and the Sorbonne.