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Page: « Prev   1... 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ...  Next » | 61 to 70 of 282
The Lonely Shall Inherit the Earth
By Mario Bruzzone (Jun 10, 2005)
The characters that populate Gina Ochsner's second book of short stories, People I Wanted to Be, are troubled. They are troubled by death -- their own deaths, deaths they've caused, and deaths that have been inflicted upon them; and by their failings, their ennui and their inability to understand or envision their lives as anything other than what they are. They are fully realized people with all the imperfections and wonderful humanity that brings. The stories are, in a sense, escapist stories, for Ochsner creates a different world for her readers to inhabit for the ten, twenty, or thirty minutes it takes to read each. More
San Francisco's Two Nations
By lisa ryers (May 27, 2005)
Reading "Winners" by Eric B. Martin, I was reminded of the "two nations" speech vice presidential candidate John Edwards used to truck out during campaign stops. Edwards maintained that the country is losing its middle class and polarizing into two nations (you could say "under God" depending on your red or blue state tidings). In Martin's book, the two nations sit under the seven by seven square foot umbrella of San Francisco circa 1999. It was a time when Elvis Costello playing at the company Christmas party was de rigueur while the south and southeast sectors of the city buckled under gentrification. More
A Celebration of Reflective Narrative
By Tanya Khiatani (May 13, 2005)
Autobiographical essays have long served as the fodder for comedy, and have made strides in their bounded-form comeback with the support of such cult deities as David Sedaris. Observing the lives of others is just much more interesting than living the one at hand, hence the dawn of reality television. The advent of such success has, unfortunately, contributed to marketable obsessions with developing formulae for everything, including the presentation of life. Fortunately for readers, the writers published in "Zyzzyva: the journal of West Coast writers and artists", have not yet been marred by commercial success. More
California Without Dreaming
By Kit Stolz (Apr 28, 2005)
"California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century" is a collection of short stories and novel chapters mixed in with essays, memoir chapters, interviews, and poems. The pieces -- which tend to be autobiographical or semi-autobiographical and by new writers -- progress in no apparent order, but the collection climaxes with a great poem by the famous Robinson Jeffers. It's about a Tassajara cave painting and it's called "Hands." More
A Serious, Solitary Introspection
By Tanya Khiatani (Apr 15, 2005)
I have yet to read the work of a modern writer that can capture the essence of outsider living quite like A.L. Kennedy. As an unofficial spokesperson for loners, she has exhibited literary genius once again with her new novel, Paradise. Here she delves into the life of alcoholism, exposing the troubles, grief and dependence that fuel the drive to imbibe. More
Framing 101
By erin Jourdan (Apr 1, 2005)
You pick up a book called, "Don't Think of an Elephant" by Berkeley based professor and cognitive linguist George Lakoff and you have an epiphany. You may have been born into a family of dogmatic conservatives but this book, subtitled, "The Essential Guide for Progressives", will help you to understand the political thought behind their positions so that you can have an actual debate. Or at least give it a good college try. More
Beyond Faith
By Kit Stolz (Mar 18, 2005)
A small town in Iowa, an old preacher awaiting death, the l950s, a family driven by zealotry, a prodigal son, a decrepit church, the Lord -- these are the raw materials of Marilynne Robinson's new novel Gilead. To many a 21st century Californian, this may well sound like a horse pill of a novel. That's certainly how it sounded to me. When esteemed critics endorsed it, I only glanced at their raves. Nor did I care that it took Robinson nearly twenty-five years to publish her second novel (after her extraordinarily rich but very different Housekeeping, from l981). Even the news that Gilead had been shortlisted for both the PEN/Faulkner award More
A Magical Break From The Real
By Tanya Khiatani (Mar 3, 2005)
Traversing the journey from child- to adulthood remains, arguably, the most common theme among past and present fiction, and has contributed to the canon of American literature such greats as 'Catcher in the Rye'. While timeless in nature, and explored to depths by generations of authors, you might never read a version that addresses the matter quite like Haruki Murakami's latest book, 'Kafka on the Shore'. More
A Great Read to Honor Black History Month
By lisa ryers (Feb 18, 2005)
In 'Arc of Justice', Ohio State University history professor Kevin Boyle dramatizes the life of Ossian Sweet, an African American doctor who had the audacity in the 1920s to not only move his family into a White neighborhood but to shoot at a marauding, lynching crowd. His uprising resulted in the death of one man and the maiming of another. Boyle shows how this little-known case not only became another trophy for attorney Clarence Darrow, but a catalyst for the modern day NAACP. More
Humanizing the Myth
By lisa ryers (Feb 4, 2005)
In spite of its scary New Age subtitle, this book is not a road trip to self-actualization, 16th-Century style. The author is a Harvard humanities professor, and as such, provides the reader with a context for Shakespeare's world as well as pertinent text analysis. Greenblatt's academic repertoire details how relevant court cases, the effect of the bubonic plague, the nuts and bolts of set construction, the vagrant life of the actor, and English status games all provided the backdrop for Shakespeare's works. More
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