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The Light of the World

The Light of the World

Elizabeth Alexander Grand Central Publishing, 2015 224 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1455599875 FOUR DAYS AFTER HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, Elizabeth Alexander’s husband, Ficre Ghebreyesus, dropped dead of a heart attack while exercising on a home treadmill. His death came as a total shock; “eminently strong of body and spirit,” he was “slim and energetic and . . […]

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The Fishermen

The Fishermen

Chigozie Obioma Little, Brown and Company, 2015 304 pp; ISBN-13: 978-0316338370 ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE LITERARY DEVELOPMENTS of the past decade has been the more or less simultaneous eruption onto the world stage, after a long fallow period, of nearly a dozen popular new novelists from Africa. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, […]

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Digest

Digest

Gregory Pardlo Four Way (Stahlecker Selections), 2014 84 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1935536505 IN GREGORY PARDLO’S LATEST BOOK, Digest, he manages an incredible balancing act. His poems are narrative and personal; they incorporate domestic themes; they take on the father; and they manage to weave in classical references without placing his work so high on the ivory […]

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Portrait of a Young Painter: Pepe Zúñiga and Mexico City’s Rebel Generation

Portrait of a Young Painter: Pepe Zúñiga and Mexico City’s Rebel Generation

Mary Kay Vaughan Duke University Press Books, 2014 pp. 304; ISBN-13: 978-0822357810 TEN YEARS AGO, historian Mary Kay Vaughan set out to research the learning experiences of youth who became involved in the 1960s student demonstrations in Mexico City. These were the same demonstrations that culminated in the infamous 1968 Tlateleloc Massacre. Then she met […]

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War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

Nelson A Denis Nation Books, 2015 400 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1568585017 April 21 MARKS THE 50th anniversary of the death of Pedro Albizu Campos. Most Americans likely haven’t heard of Albizu Campos or his plan to challenge the United States’ control of Puerto Rico. His supporters remember him as an organizer, an intellectual, and a revolutionary. […]

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Splitting an Order

Splitting an Order

Ted Kooser Copper Canyon Press, 2014 96 pp; ISBN-13: 978-1556594694 ONE OF THE POEMS THAT STAYS WITH ME the most from Splitting an Order, Ted Kooser’s first new collection in ten years, is “Those Summer Evenings,” his take on Robert Hayden’s classic and much-anthologized “Those Winter Sundays.” In his characteristically laconic but nonetheless musical voice, […]

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Why we just can’t get enough of ‘Alice’

Why we just can’t get enough of ‘Alice’

Almost 150 years after its creation, Lewis Carroll’s delightfully weird Wonderland world continues to fascinate — and to spawn merchandise. Jewelry, trinkets, clothing, cosmetics: We want it all.

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A Miscellany of Book Reviews

A Miscellany of Book Reviews

This month we offer A MISCELLANY OF BOOK REVIEWS, from classic English crime fiction by Elizabeth Daly to the re-issuance of Harvard’s disastrous The Notebooks of Robert Frost,”to Canadian poet Kenneth Sherman, who reminds readers in his essay collection, that poetry offers the deepest address to the hard truths of our own life experiences. Finally, a weekly roundup of noteworthy reviews from other sources from the website, THE SECOND PASS. Happy reading!

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The Symbiosis of Music and Literature

The Symbiosis of Music and Literature

I never read books until I was 14 years old. Typical boy, I was out in all weathers playing cricket or football instead. What turned me on to literature, was when a respected older Cousin suggested I listen to The Cure’s “Killing An Arab” and then read Camus’ “L’Etranger”, both of which I dutifully did. . . . Oh yeah, I not only read books now, I write ’em as well. And as part of that, music is still key.

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Literature and War: Conversations With Israeli and Palestinian Writers

Literature and War: Conversations With Israeli and Palestinian Writers

WHILE AMERICAN LITERATURE COVERS an abundance of ethnic literatures and a myriad of social and political issues, the unifying factor is the English language. On the other hand, Israeli literature is a bit more complex; while the literature is unified by religion, works classed as Israeli literature are written in five languages; with Hebrew as the dominant language, some Israeli authors write in Yiddish, English, Arabic and Russian.

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