Friday, December 06, 2013

Short Takes

The Slate Book Review names Frank X Walker's TURN ME LOOSE as one of the ten Best Books Poetry Books of 2013. "Walker’s ability to create a human voice of inhumanity—and to place it alongside other voices that struggle to remain human in the face of such devastation—revitalizes our history at a time when too many want us to live as though it were merely a thing of the past."

The Day has an article about Jacquelin Gorman and her new short story collection, THE VIEWING ROOM. In the article, Wally Lamb praises Gorman and THE VIEWING ROOM, saying:
I loved working with Jacquelin Gorman in the Praiano writers' group and was blown away when I read her unforgettable story collection, THE VIEWING ROOM. How did she do it? How did Jackie craft fiction about death and dying that is triumphantly life-affirming? I marvel at her achievement and hope that THE VIEWING ROOM finds the wide audience it deserves.
Publishers Weekly describes the poems in THE CLOUD THAT CONTAINED THE LIGHTNING as being "expertly crafted and chiseled to a brittle, often stinging essence. . . . Reading this book against the contemporary backdrop of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster and worries about mass destruction falling into the wrong hands gives the poems a deep resonance."

THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS is "remarkable," according to ForeWord. THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS is number four in ForeWord's list of top ten university press picks. Hoffman is "an intensely focused, curious, tireless, supremely gifted writer."

The Rumpus also praises THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS:
The book’s gift is its ability to capture a moment, to let the particulars contain the whole. If being present is the ultimate end, then it’s appropriate to stay lost in the forest. The focus of each essay is on the observed, not the observer. This isn’t a re-telling but a telling. And that’s Hoffman’s knack. He’s able to create a moment that feels like one. . . . THE SMALL HEART OF THINGS is a celebration of spaces and the hidden, miraculous lives within them, but it’s a quiet celebration, the pause after you open a gift, truly surprised, and inhabit a speechless moment.
"PROPERTIES OF VIOLENCE is an excellent example of good scholarship. . . . Overall, Correia did an excellent job. Geographers, historians, and land use scholars with a focus on New Mexico and/or the American Southwest will find much to get excited about in this book. Perhaps the few ethical land and water attorneys, as well as the numerous unethical ones, will also find the book helpful in their practices."—Journal of Historical Geography describes the strengths of THE INVISIBLES author Hugh Sheehy as "a combination of plotting and prose styling. . . . It’s a complicated, character-based tale, much more than a simple whodunit. What underlies the plotting is a well-crafted prose, a styling that feels, for the most part, crafted with the care a carpenter’s chisel: a word here, a word there, shaving by shaving until we’re just plumb."

The ideas of W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Booker T. Washington may have differed, but each made key contributions to the pan-Africanist project. In a recent interview on KPFA's "Against the Grain," IN SEARCH OF BRIGHTEST AFRICA author Jeannette Eileen Jones describes how these thinkers and others viewed Africa, and what role they saw blacks in the West playing in Africa's liberation and advancement. Also, Davarian Baldwin discusses the volume in which Jones's essay appears. Listen to the interview here.  

Congratulations, Marc Sommers! His book, STUCK, received an Honorable Mention award for the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize from the African Studies Association, which ended its assessment of the book in the annual meeting program as follows: "This is an incisive, eloquent and pioneering work on Rwanda's youth that shows them as a demographic majority, but unvalued and marginalized."

In this excerpt of his speech "U.S. Diplomacy in the Age of Obama," Ronald Angelo Johnson uses research findings from his forthcoming book DIPLOMACY IN BLACK AND WHITE to discuss exceptional early American diplomacy.