Thursday, February 09, 2012

Short Takes

Robert Hirschfield, of the Jerusalem Report, praises David Caplan's first book of poems, IN THE WORLD HE CREATED ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, in what at times reads like half obituary and half review. Calling for the second life of this splendid collection of poems where "[r]eality is hardedged, varied, [and] seriously explored," Hirschfield decries the neglect of Caplan's book and even challenges it by saying that "[t]he complexity of the poet's Biblically-based worldview may come as a surprise to the literary secularist."

Nancy Lord, of the Orion Magazine, writes that "We're lucky that the fresh, original voice of Melinda Moustakis has arrived to speak to us from her heart's home." For Lord, BEAR DOWN, BEAR NORTH is a wonderful addition of "imaginative fiction" amidst a "surge of well-regarded literary non-fiction" concerning Alaska.

Story Circle Book Reviews describes Jill Christman's book DARKROOM: A FAMILY EXPOSURE as "[a]lternately humorous, sensitive, intellectual, evocative and eye opening. . . . a written collage that will touch and enlighten readers."

A reviewer in the Arkansas Review wrote that John C. Inscoe's WRITING THE SOUTH THROUGH THE SELF "is without a doubt a valuable contribution to the field of southern studies."

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society calls Diane Mutti Burke's book ON SLAVERY'S BORDER "a significant contribution toward [the] understanding" of the different practices, the "very different experiences," that slaves encountered in the Upper South, where plantation life was less common, and the plantation-ridden Lower South. The reviewer says that Mutti Burke's research into the contrasts between each distinct region of the south "make[s] a significant contribution toward such understanding."

The American Historical Review slates CONTENTIOUS LIBERTIES as "a major contribution" to the "literature on Christian missions in Jamaica," and the Midwest Book Review calls it "[a] fascinating, in depth account of conflicts between disparate cultures in the 1800's. . . .highly recommended as an excellent pick for international history shelves."

The American Historical Review praises Alexander Macaulay's MARCHING IN STEP as "an authoritative institutional history based on Macaulay's perceptive understanding of his alma mater."