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Welcome to the second issue of Transnational Literature. I am delighted to note that TNL, true to its first origins in the CRNLE (Centre for Research in the New Literatures in English) Reviews Journal, is developing (inter alia) into a lively forum for book reviews. This issue contains reviews of dozens of books, fiction and non-fiction, literary criticism and anthologies, and even of one of a television program.

Several of these reviews are part of our 'Austen Abroad' feature, one of the myriad manifestations of the global reach of Jane Austen's influence in the twenty-first century. Along with the book reviews in the Austen feature, there are three articles, each originating from a different continent - North America, Africa and Australia - because Transnational Literature is also living up to its name, and our contributors have not only considered transnational themes in their contributions, but are themselves from all over the world: from Japan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, England, the USA, South Africa, and practically every state of Australia.

Transnationalism is open to a variety of interpretations, and we have chosen to be liberal in our definition. Thus, although it might be objected that Jane Austen and Iris Murdoch are both British writers, the century and a half that separate them constitutes a sufficiently significant frontier. Transnationality can also be implied by translation, and we include a new translation of a story by the great Rabindranath Tagore. Literature from languages other than English is also included for the first time in this issue, with Maik Nwosu's article on Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits. We also include a review of a biography of the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez.

Without creative writing we would have nothing to write about, so it is with great pleasure that we are able to bring you new work from six poets, as well as a new short story from Christine Williams.

In our November 2008 issue we ran a symposium on the subject 'Does Literature Exist?' The originator of that discussion, Robert Lumsden, exercises his right of reply in this issue. And finally, Ron Klein offers another lighthearted afterthought, 'In the Beginning Was the Word'.

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