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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Posted by Ravenmn at 8:59 PM
Sunday, November 08, 2009
An Equal Music
I just finished reading this novel by Vikram Seth. I can't even remember what prompted me to buy it. The novel's central character is a musician, Michael Holme, who plays second violin in a classical quartet. He has loved and lost and attempts to retrieve the lost love of another musician, Julia McNicholl.
First, I must admit that the main character was totally unlikable to me. Selfish, obsessed, inconsiderate and absurd, he makes a mountain of his love affair and fails to understand or even remotely understand the person who is Julia. He's like a stalker, forever obsessed with the way she affects him, rather than the person she is. I found him contemptible. I found her weak and barely forgivable.
And yet, there is an understanding of musicians and their obsession with their instrument that makes this novel worth reading. The real love story is between Michael and the violin he plays, a gift from a patroness who has known him since childhood.
Also, this book deals with class. Michael is the son of a butcher, a man unlikely to become a world-class musician. It is only through the patronage of a local aristocrat, that Michael is able to access this world of musicianship.
And this is where the book goes wrong. You cannot transform a working class child into a self-absorded bourgeois twit without some explanation. There is none. What is it that gives this manchild his massive ego? What makes him so completely insensitive to Julia's reality. How is he able to elevate his lover for her to a mythic Utopia without the least consideration or her reality or his?
I can see writing a novel like this that makes clear the extreme selfishness of Michael and his blindness to reality. But this is not the book Seth has written.
How unfair this book is to the reality of love and living with another human being. How dismissive of Julia's husband and child.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The girls and the grandchildren came by today to help us clean up the household. Found lots of fun items we'd lost in the process. Pretty pictures of daughters on Halloween. This is good.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Spent two hours today at the Casket Arts book sale, picking up classics of the leftist variety.
What a weird sensation to be staring down rows of Sydney Sheldon and Dominic Dunne and finding, amidst the dross, the occasional Chomsky or Lenin.
I plowed on through for two solid hours. Picking the gems from the frauds.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The Lace Reader
Just finished reading this book by Brunonia Barry. It starts with a great premise, the unreliable narrator. The narrator begins by saying she lies all the time and that she's a crazy woman.
Okay. Let's see how a crazy woman thinks.
Except we then go into a fairly logical narrative of which we are expected to believe most of what we read, but be prepared to toss out some of the more outlandish claims. That's cheating.
For an amazing example of reading the words of a crazy woman while being able to discern reality from fiction, I recommend and highly prefer Charlotte Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." It's free on the web at Gutenberg.
However, to review the book on its merits, I should say I was pulled along by the plot and kept coming back to it when I had time to read. The sense of place is awesome, I assume, although I've never been to Salem. I was fascinated by the family, Towner, her twin sister Lindley, her mother May and her guardian Eva. All were strong, fascinating women with quirky habits and powerful beliefs. Even the secondary female characters get fleshed out: Angela, Roberta, Anya and Ann.
But I was really bothered by the shift from first person narrative by Towner to first person narrative by Rafferty, the detective who falls for Towner, midway through the book. In comparison to the women of the book, Rafferty is poorly developed. We know little of his beliefs or his desires. He is curiously incapable of action.
I'm not sorry I read this book, but I'm not recommending it to others.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Look for the Union Label: A Celebration of Union Logos and Emblems
Hat tip to John at Social Design Notes
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
The worker's flag is deepest red....
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
From The Daily Mail we learn about a Monkey who adopts kittens of an amazing variety.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tawny Frogmouth Chick!
Cute little Aussie friends. Found on the Zooborn website. Awwwww!
Friday, August 21, 2009
8 Ways to Prepare Your Pets for Wars
Bunnies are surprisingly warlike
Jamail's new book is great!
Here's a flyer I made for an upcoming event with Dahr Jamail.
Dahr Jamail in Minneapolis
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Amazing photography documenting the death of Detroit.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe on Lamb Castration, PETA, and American Labor
Next time you have 20 minutes, listen to a man who has spent two years with working people and learned a lesson or two about it.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Last Friday night, I heard Zaineb Alani give this speech at the National Assembly conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Amazing!
"When the late Robert McNamara paid a visit to the Independent country of Vietnam that he had previously 'sought to conquer' and failed, he said to their foreign minister, "We wanted to give you Democracy." The reply was, "We wanted our Independence first." Why do American policy-makers never learn from history?"
"...In fact, the common sentiment in Baghdad today is that we went from living under the rule of a tyrannical Ali Baba to that of 40 hundred ruling thieves."
"The Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani people cannot win against the American war machine. On their own, they are helpless. They have only one hope, you. We need to build a movement so strong that our voices are heard as one, so loud that we force the occupiers to leave the Middle East and elsewhere where they impose their colonial occupations and plunder the natural resources and wealth of weaker nations. American, Iraqi, Afghan and Palestinian peoples are paying a dear price in blood and treasure for the continuation of these wars and occupations."
Sunday, July 05, 2009
This one took a lot of work, in part because I'm not a good artist. I'm a good assembler. Making the truck image was not an easy task. It started out looking like a really bad cartoon. I think I managed to avoid that and to make it a big more abstract. You'll let me know if I failed, I'm sure.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Way the Crow Flies
Just finished reading this book by Ann Marie MacDonald. I picked this book out of the stacks at the Book House in Dinkytown having heard nothing about it. It packs a wallop.
I felt as if the author was almost cruel in her persistence of portraying an abuser who suffered no consequences. And then I looked up the book on the internets, and discovered this was based on a true story. Just like reality, the abusers of the 1960s get away with it. An innocent boy was convicted of murder, while the true culprits survived and kept their secrets.
MacDonald's story weaves this ugly reality of child abuse into the ugly reality of the Cold War and the brain drain of Nazi scientists to the west. There are moments of amazing beauty in her ability to portray the confusing view of the world that we have as children who have learned about evil long before we are capable of handling the consequences.
There is also a convincing portrayal of a reality most people miss. Children who suffer abuse spend a lot of effort protecting their parents from the facts of their own lives. This comes through loud and clear in this novel. Even when the heroine, Madeline, tries to tell the truth about her life to her beloved father, you can see the tremendous effort it takes. Our parents are taught that the tragedies we experience are their fault. How convenient for society at large to be pin the blame on parents rather than focus on the sickness among us
This book affected me. I honestly don't know whether I would recommend this book to other readers. It needs a trigger warning. I wish I had known when I began the book that this was based on a true story. I would have been able to forgive the author for putting me through such pain and heartache.
Monday, June 15, 2009
For the second time and two weeks, Jinx the Cat has fallen through the screens on our front porch and plopped herself into the dreaded "Outside". Tonight, we didn't realize this until around 6 pm and went wandering through the neighborhood looking for the misplaced feline. She was eventually found, cowering among the lillies of the field that grow behind our garage. I pulled her out, but had to cover her eyes to get her from her hiding place back into the house. Outside was just too skerry!
What in the world is with this kitty? Why is she ripping through the screen windows in my front porch? Your advice is greatly appreciated!
Posted by Ravenmn at 9:20 PM
Posted by Ravenmn at 9:20 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Too busy to post anything substantial, so enjoy
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother's Day!
Drove a couple hours to visit and take my mother out to lunch. Got a phone call wishing me a happy mother's day from my daughter. All is right with the world!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Images from last Saturday's protest
Thanks to Kim DeFranco on Facebook!
Article from the Twin Cities Daily Planet:
Foreclosed home auction draws protesters, bargain-hunters
BY MADELEINE BARAN, TC DAILY PLANET. March 29, 2009
Local activists protested the auction of hundreds of foreclosed homes at the Minneapolis Convention Center on March 28.
The Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout organized the protest to demand that the state impose a two-year moratorium on all foreclosures, including rental properties.
About thirty protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside the convention center, chanting, “Banks got bailed out! People got thrown out! Stop foreclosures now!” The group, organized by the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, held signs and gave short speeches in the cold, sunny weather.
“All of these homes that are being auctioned off today represent families who have been evicted and might be facing homelessness,” protester Steff Yorek said. “People’s lives are being auctioned off in there.”
The sale, held by the Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC), had an element of spectacle, as one foreclosed home after another went up for bid in a crowded convention room. An auctioneer stood in the front of the room, rapidly barking out prices. Most homes were sold in less than two minutes. The bidding for a three-bedroom St. Paul home previously valued at $65,000 started at just $500. Less than a minute later, it was sold for $32,500.
“You open your mouth, you might get it,” bidder Calvin Boquist said. “If you don’t you won’t.” Boquist, 53, came to the auction to buy a home for his twenty-year-old son Brandon. They hope to spend less than $35,000 on a small foreclosed home in Avon, Minnesota, close to St. John’s University where Brandon attends college.
Bidders walked past the protest quickly, but many drivers honked their horns to show support. “I understand why people see this as an opportunity,” coalition member Alan Dale said. The banks and the government, not the individual buyers, are the source of the problem, he said.
The proposed two-year foreclosure moratorium is part of a larger “People’s Bailout” bill introduced at the state legislature in January. The bill, which also includes job creation programs and a temporary halt to the five-year limit on receiving welfare benefits, has struggled to make it out of committee. But portions of the bill may pass as parts of other bills, supporters said.
Protesters said that the current economic crisis could prove worse than the Great Depression. And, as many were quick to point out, Minnesota’s Governor Floyd Olson issued an executive order temporarily halting foreclosures in 1933.
Madeleine Baran is a freelance journalist, specializing in labor and poverty issues. Her articles have appeared in The New York Daily News, Dollars & Sense, Clamor, The New Standard, and other publications.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
This past week, I heard a young man explain to a group of 75 community members that his job, stocking shelves with food at a local grocery store, was soul-numbing in the extreme.
And I had a huge disconnect. Because when he said that his job was stocking shelves at a local grocery store, I thought to myself, "Wow, he's doing something concrete that makes a difference in the lives of working class people." And I thought to myself, "That must be awesome, to know that the job one does contributes to one's fellow human being."
To hear this young man say that providing food to another human being is the epitome of soul depletion: well, you know, slap my up one side of the head and down another.
I live in a world that chooses to not respect individuals who contribute to the lives of other workers.
I live in a world where a man who provide the basics of live can tell himself he is doing nothing important.
Damn. That's fucked up.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Tonight a bunch of us got together at Mayday Books to put together the posters we will pass out at tomorrow's protest against the foreclosure auction. I received the highest of praise in leftyland when Mickey told me my signs looked even better than Worker's World signs. Wow!
We re-engineered about 50 old signs from the anti-RNC rallies and stapled out new signs onto them. I sarcastically stated that with 56 signs, we probably would have twice as many signs as protesters tomorrow. I hope I am proved wrong on that.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
All Hail Jon Stewart
see more Political Pictures
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
This is one of my favorite flyers. I made it to support an awesome point in US history.
Five years a group of local activists, including myself, put on a street festival celebrating 70 years since the 1934 Truckers Strike that made Minneapolis a union town and crushed the "Minneapolis Citizens Alliance". Today, six veterans of that struggle met again to see if we could do another festival this year. I think it might actually happen. I certainly hope so. More info to come.
Friday, March 06, 2009
A Thousand Splendid Suns
I have been a member of a women's reading group for over 20 years now. We are not the typical reading group. For one thing, we are diverse in our tastes and have NEVER found a book that we all agreed upon as good reading. We tried, at first, to all read the same book. But we also agreed that nobody should feel pressured to read a book she doesn't like. The result? You guessed it. We have never all read the same book.
However, one of our members was especially impressed by Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. So much so that she gave each of us a copy of the book for Xmas/Hannukah. So I finally got around to reading it this past month.
First, the writing is truly awesome. I felt immersed in the place and time of the book. I felt moved by the women who form the basis of this book.
Also, I was confused by the structure. The book begins telling the story of Miriam, a bastard child who lives alone in a secluded "kolba" with weekly visits from her father. Then, abruptly, the book shifts to concentrate on Laila, Miriam's neighbor. Which is weird and confusing.
I suppose authors must have to trust their readers to let them take these abrupt turns. If the characters are of interest, we will accept the change and trust that all will be resolved. But, dammit, it takes a really long time for that to happen. But, what a miracle, I was patient.
This book throttles you with the reality of war and abuse. It isn't pretty. There are no miraculous escapes. The choices are few and brutal. We have hope for these women, but we also know how foolish that hope is.
Aha! Found it!
I stumbled on this list while scrolling through all the Racefail09 comments and then could NOT find it again. Today, I have once again found it and copy it here. Plans are underway to get these into our bookstore. Links to follow when I have time.
Big List of Awesome Authors, Poets, Playwrights and Scholars
The latest edition of the POC Author list.
The Face of Another by Kobo Abé
The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abé
The Box Man by Kobo Abé
Secret Rendezvous by Kobo Abé
The Ruined Map by Kobo Abé
The Ark Sakura by Kobo Abé
Kangaroo Notebook by Kobo Abé
Live From Deathrow by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta
For Love of Biafra by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo
The Dilemma of a Ghost by Ama Ata Aidoo
Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo
No Sweetness Here and Other Stories by Ama Ata Aidoo
10 Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
Adventures of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Business of Fancydancing by Sherman Alexie
First Indian on the Moon by Sherman Alexie
Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
Old Shirts and New Skins by Sherman Alexie
One Stick Song by Sherman Alexie
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie
Summer of Black Widows by Sherman Alexie
The Woman Who Owned the Shadows by Paula Gunn Allen
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Tales of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
The Best Gift of All by Julia Alvarez
Finding Miracles by Julia Alvarez
The Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia by Julia Alvarez
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
In The Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Once Upon A Quinceañera by Julia Alvarez
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
The Secret Footprints by Julia Alvarez
Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez
The Woman I Kept to Myself by Julia Alvarez
Bless Me Ultima by Rudolpho Anaya
Being on the Moon by Annharte
La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa
Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences, 1879-2000 by Margaret L. Archuleta
The Conference of the Birds by Ibn Attar
Tahuri by Ngahuia Te Awekotuku
Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother's Wisdom by Marilou Awiakta
Gorilla, My Love by Toni Cade Bambara
The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara
Those Bones Are Not My Child Toni Cade Bambara
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
The Prisoner's Wife by Asha Bandele
Lion's Blood by Steven Barnes
Not Far Away: The Real-life Adventures of Ima Pipiig by Lois Beardslee
The Women's Warrior Society Ima Pipiig by Lois Beardslee
From the Belly of My Beauty by Esther G. Belin
Full Moon on the Reservation by Gloria Bird
For Nights Like This One: Stories of Loving Women by Becky Birtha
Lover's Choice by Becky Birtha
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Revise the World by Brenda Clough
Elderberry Flute Song: Contemporary Coyote Tales by Peter Blue Cloud
What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
Food and Spirits by Beth Brant
I'll sing 'til the day I die: Conversations with Tyendinaga Elders by Beth Brant
Ryddim Ravings by Jean Binta Breeze
The Fifth Figure by Jean Binta Breeze
Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac
Wabi by Joseph Bruchac
The Sun Came Down: The History of the World as My Blackfeet Elders Told It by Percy Bullchild
The Threshing Floor by Barbara Burford
Chocolate Park by Chesya Burke
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
Blood Child by Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
Popo and Fifina by Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes
Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell
Native Creative Process: A Collaborative Discourse between Douglas Cardinal and Jeannette Armstrong by Douglas Cardinal and Jeannette Armstrong
Black Ice by Lorene Carey
Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
So Far from God by Ana Castillo
The Mixquiahuala Letters by Ana Castillo
Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families 1900-1940 by Brenda J. Childs
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearle Cleage
Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
Free Enterprise: A novel of Mary Ellen Pleasant by Michelle Cliff
Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyng Cha
Chronique des sept misères (Chronicles of the Seven Sorrows) by Patrick Chamoiseau
School Days by Patrick Chamoiseau
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Devdas by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay
The Marrow of Tradition by Charles W. Chesnutt
The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt
The Conjure Women and The Conjure Tales by Charles W. Chesnutt
Donald Duk by Frank Chin
Chickencoop Chinaman and The Year of the Dragon by Frank Chin
Dream On by Chrystos
In Her I Am by Chrystos
Not Vanishing by Chrystos
Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980 by Lucille Clifton
The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
Segu by Maryse Condé
The Children of Segu by Maryse Condé
I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé
Desirada by Maryse Condé
The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper
April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Breath Eyes Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
Eu Nasci Uma Mulher Negra (I Was Born a Black Woman) by Benedita da Silva
Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
Hogg by Samuel R. Delany
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany
Indians in Unexpected Places by Philip J. Deloria
American Indians, American Justice by Vine Deloria Jr
Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties by Vine Deloria Jr
Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria Jr
Evolution, Creationism, and Other Modern Myths by Vine Deloria Jr
God is Red by Vine Deloria Jr
Power and Place by Vine Deloria Jr
Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact by Vine Deloria Jr
Spirit & Reason by Vine Deloria Jr
We Talk, You Listen: New Tribes, New Turf by Vine Deloria, Jr
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Drown by Junot Diaz
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
Guests by Michael Dorris
Morning Girl by Michael Dorris
The Crown of Columbus by Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich
At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America by Philip Dray
Souls of Blackfolk by W.E.B Dubois
The Between by Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
The Living Blood by Tananarive Due
The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Tower of Nesle (La Tour de Nesle) by Alexandre Dumas
The Sun, The Sea, A Touch of Wind by Rosa Guy Dutton
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
Towelhead by Alicia Erian
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo
Mrs. Spring Fragrance by Sui Sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton)
The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust
From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain by Minister Faust
The Colour of Resistance: A Contemporary Collection of Writing by Aboriginal Women ed by Connie Fife
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Saipan: Suicide Island by Guy Gabaldon
A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines
The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
Don't Take Your Love to Town by Ruby Langford Ginibi
Ego-Trippin' and Other Poems for Young People by Nikki Giovanni
Racism 101 by Nikki Giovanni
Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy
Kalpa Imperial by Angelica Gorodischer
Introducing... Sister NoBlues by Hattie Gossett
Potiki by Patricia Grace
Nigger by Dick Gregory
Up from Nigger by Dick Gregory
Callus on My Soul by Dick Gregory
The Epic of Sundiata by Mandika Griots
Measuring Time by Helon Habila
Waiting for An Angel by Helon Habila
Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley
Mama Flora's Family by Alex Haley
Born Black, Born Palestinian by Suheir Hammad
Justice and Her Brothers by Virginia Hamilton
First Indian on the Moon by Joy Harjo
In Mad Love and War by Joy Harjo
Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America ed by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird
Palace of the Peacock by Wilson Harris
The Full Matilda by David Haynes
Dog Road Woman by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Who Am I?: The Diary of Mary Talance by Anita Heiss
Locas by Jaime Hernandez
The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
The Book of Medicines by Linda Hogan
Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan
Power by Linda Hogan
Where We Stand: Class Matters by bell hooks
Brown Girl in The Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
1000 Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Miko Kings by LeAnne Howe
Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
The Best of Simple by Langston Hughes
The Ways of White Folk by Langston Hughes
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
A Zuni Artist Looks at Frank Hamilton Cushing by Phil Hughte
Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston
Seth and Samona by Joanne Hyppolite
Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
Tangi by Witi Ihimaera
Woman Far Walking by Witi Ihimaera
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Rain God by Arturo Islas
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School by Agness Jack
The Black Jacobins by CLR James
A Free Life: A Novel by Ha Jin
In the Pond by Ha Jin
Waiting by Ha Jin
War Trash by Ha Jin
Mi Revalueshanary Fren by Linton Kwesi Johnson
Ojibway Tales by Basil Johnstone
All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Poem About My Rights by June Jordan
Dusk by F. Sionil Josè
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
The Cotillion by John Oliver Killens
Same Difference and Other Stories by Derek Kirk Kim
Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
Medicine River by Thomas King
Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King
Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
Medicine River by Thomas King
The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King
China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston
Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book by Maxine Hong Kingston
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer by Dany Laferrière
Dining with The Dictator by Dany Laferrière and David Homel
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
When Fox Is a Thousand by Larissa Lai
The Tao Teh King by Lao-Tse
Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
Quicksand by Nella Larsen
Passing by Nella Larsen
Native Speaker by Changrae Lee
A Gesture Life by Changrae Lee
Aloft by Changrae Lee
Natif-natal by Félix Morriseau-Leroy
Plénitudes by Félix Morriseau-Leroy
Do Not Go Gently by Judith Smith Levin
Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen by Lili'uokalani
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
Zami by Audre Lorde
Twilight in Jakarta by Mochtar Lubis
The Color of Water by James McBride
The First Century after Beatrice by Amain Maalouf
Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
Praisesong for the Widow by Paule Marshall
Mother Tongue by Demitria Martinez
Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
Memories of My Meloncholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez
All I Asking for Is My Body by Milton Maruyama
Raj by Gita Mehta
The Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi
Wild Ginger by Anchee Minn
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Monkey King by Timothy Mo
Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
The Ancient Child by N. Scott Momaday
The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday
In the Bear's House by N. Scott Momaday
The Man Made of Words by N. Scott Momaday
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color ed by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua
Loving in the War Years by Cherríe Moraga
Richard trajo su flauta y otros argumentos by Nancy Morejon
My Place by Sally Morgan
Love by Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Easy Rawlings series (Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death, Black Betty, White Butterfly) by Walter Mosley
Walkin' the Dog by Walter Mosley
Always Outnumbered by Walter Moseley
Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee
Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee
Turning Japanese by David Mura
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray
The Conquest, by Yxta Maya Murray
Dis Poem by Mutabaruka
Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
Arrows of Rain by Okey Ndibe
Blanche Cleans UP by Barbara Nealy
A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe
A Quiet Life by Kenzaburo Oe
Hiroshima Notes by Kenzaburo Oe
A Squatter's Tale by Ike Oguine
Zarah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Incidents at the Shrine by Ben Okri
Stars of the New Curfew by Ben Okri
My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
Gulf Dreams by Emma Perez
Geographies of Home by Loida Maritza Pérez
Fresh Girl by Jaira Placide
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara
The Grass Dancer by Susan Power
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
The Negro of Peter the Great by Alexander Pushkin
The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
Catechism of D Neoamerican HooDoo Church by Ishmael Reed
Conjure: Selected Poems
Flight to Canada by Ishmael Reed
The Free-Lance Pallbearers by Ishmael Reed
Japanese by Spring by Ishmael Reed
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
Reckless Eyeballing by Ishmael Reed
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Defending the Spirit - Randall Robinson
The Debt - Randall Robinson
The Reckoning - Randall Robinson
The Sano Ichiro Mysteries series by Laura Joh Rowland
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Midnight’s Children by Sir Salman Rushdie
The Rose Garden by Saadi
The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development by Maria Josefina Saldana-Portillo's
Push by Sapphire
America's Dream by Esmeralda Santiago
When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
Almost A Woman by Esmeralda Santiago
The Turkish Lover by Esmeralda Santiago
Betsy Brown by Ntozake Shange
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
A Suitablle Boy by Vikram Seth
Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
If I Can Cook You Know God Can by Ntozake Shange
Liliane: Resurrection of the Daughter by Ntozake Shange
The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikobu
The Black and White of It by Ann Allen Shockley
Loving Her by Ann Allen Shockley
Say Jesus and Come to Me by Ann Allen Shockley
Conquest by Andrea Smith
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
The Crescent Moon by Rabindranath Tagore
Gora by Rabindranath Tagore
Relationships by Rabindranth Tagore
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Let the Circle Be Unbroken Mildred D. Taylor
The Night Wanderer by Drew Hayden Taylor
Faultline by Sheila Ortiz Taylor
Petals of Blood by Ngugi Wa Thiong`o
Devil on a Cross by Ngugi Wa Thiong`o
The Buru Quartet (This Earth of Mankind, Child of all Nations, Footsteps, House of Glass) by Pramoedya Ananta Toe
Raise the Red Lantern by Su Tong
Rice by Su Tong
Living Pidgin by Lee Tonouchi
Swerve: Reckless Observation of a Post-Modern Girl by Aisha Tyler
Naked Ladies by Alma Luz Villanueva
Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Viramontes
Waiting for Saskatchewan by Fred Wah
Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore
Midlife by Alice Walker
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker
The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness by Alice Walker
Up from Slavery by Booker T Washington
A Japanese Nightingale by Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton)
Me, A Book of Remembrance by Onoto Watanna
Miss Numè of Japan by Onoto Watanna
Miss Spring Morning by Onoto Watanna
The Old Jinkrikisha by Onoto Watanna
Tama by Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton)
The Kadaitcha Sung by Sam Watson
Sons for the Return Home by Al Wendt
The Wedding by Dorothy West
Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney Whetstone
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead
Poems of Phillis Wheatley by Phillis Wheatley
Religious and Moral Poems by Phillis Wheatley
Native Son by Richard Wright
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G Woodson
America, through the Spectacles of a Diplomat by Ting-fang Wu
Na Han (Battle Cry) by Lu Xun
Selected Stories of Lu Hsun by Lu Xun
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Blu's Hanging by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Heads By Harry by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Name Me Nobody by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Red Sorghum by Mo Yan
The Dahomean by Frank Yerby
The Girl From Storeyville by Frank Yerby
The Foxes of Harrow by Frank Yerby
Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto
Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Lizard by Banana Yoshimoto
NP by Banana Yoshimoto
Oklahoma's Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft, Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes, Legalized Robbery by Zitkala-Sa
SPEAK! Women of Color Media Collective
Check out the new website for SPEAK! Women of Color Media Collective! I met some of these awesome women at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit last year. Here's the details from their front page:
BUY THE CD! YOU'LL LOVE IT!
Speak! is a women of color-led media collective. In the summer months of 2008, they created a CD compilation of spoken word, poetry, and song. After months of hard work, they are excited to finally share their first self-named album with the world!
With artists and poets from all over the country, the Speak! CD is a testament of struggle, hope, and love. Many of the contributors are in the Radical Women of Color blogosphere and will be familiar names to you. Instead of just reading their work, you’ll be able to hear their voices.
Proceeds of this album will go toward funding mothers and/or financially restricted activists wanting to attend the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, MI this July. This is our own grassroots organizing at its finest with financial assistance from the AMC. Here it is, ready for your purchasing!
Friday, February 27, 2009
More about working class consciousness
This is just a filler post. I really need to find the time to talk about working class consciousness and why it's not just about the money.
If you are lucky enough to be a member of the twue wurkn klas, you need to sign on to a couple of ideas that are not the stuff of popular culture.
You need to decide that the real heroes of this world are not the Donald Trump type, but the people whose names you never know who go deep into the bowels of this planet and carve out the coal that makes this blog posssible. You need to look at the folks who build the furniture, mold the steel and pave the roads that make our day to day lives livable.
You need to decide that all this glorification of rich people and professionals and academics would be NOTHING if there weren't people who go down into the mines, who line up at the factories, who step up to the registers and do all the various and mundane things that make our lives possible.
Why does our literature fail to acknowledge the power that is created when everyday people clock into every jobs? Is there anything more glorious than this?
I have met one or two writers who truly tap into that reality and they are precious to me.
Monday, February 23, 2009
It's not about the money
What does it mean to be working class and to consciously adopt that title for oneself? Here's a hint:
Class consciousness: ”The awareness of individuals in a particular social class that they share common interests and a common social situation. Class consciousness is associated with the development of a ‘class-for-itself’ where individuals within the class unite to pursue their shared interests.”. Online Dictionary of Social Sciences
Who are you gonna choose to fight beside if it comes to that?
Who are you gonna defend?
Which side are you on?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Part of the "I spend a lot of time reading" series. Also, one of these days I need to try reading Dickens and Austen again. I've failed miserably in the past.
Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
1) Bold those you have read.
2) *Star the ones you loved.
3) Italicise those you plan on reading.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
*3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations
*11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
*40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
*41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (hated it)
*43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
*48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
*59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
*60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
*61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt (absolutely loathed it)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
*65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
*73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
*87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
*91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Nadya Suleman, Octomom!
I must say, I am fascinated by our media and personal responses to the recent news that a single mother gave birth to eight premature babies. The Suleman Octuplets are a medical miracle and are already the longest lived octuplets living today.
Now, I have to admit right up front that I am often fascinated by stories that catch on like this one. We receive snippets of information, but not the whole story. We hear a variety of self-righteous and outraged opinions even when the facts are not there. We have a zillion assumptions about the mother, her lifestyle, the sperm donor, the doctors, the future of the children. The conclusions are often dire and melodramatic.
A few feminist bloggers I'm aware of have highlighted Suleman's right to choose to have children. Here are some that impressed me:
Rene from Womanist Musings writes an article entitled Nadya Suleman and the Choice We Never Respect
She was not forced to carry these babies to term; it was an active decision on her part. If, as feminists, we can argue that women have the right to choose to have an abortion, then the right to choose motherhood should be equally validated; furthermore the right to privacy extends to Ms. Suleman’s decision as well.
MZBitka at What a Crazy Random Happenstance writes Have babies, but only the right way
This is just another example that no matter what women chose to do with their bodies, if it’s viewed as the correct way, people will be there to criticize and shame them for it.
Ouyang Dan at Random Babble writes Ms. Suleman's Uterus and Our Perceived Right to Decide for Her.
A woman’s right to choose is exactly that, and it doesn’t matter how squicky you feel about it. The only fucking thing that matters is that woman and what she wants w/ her body. This woman has a plan, based on her own interview, and we may not like it, we may not all agree w/ the way she is doing it, but tough. It’s Not. Our. Call. Her right to become a mother is just as sacred as any woman’s right not to. That is worth defending.
I want to add my voice to these three women and say that, regardless of our personal feelings on the matter, we defend Suleman's right to make her own reproductive choices. She wants to have a lot of children, she believes she can be a good mother, I'm not going to make the assumption that she cannot do so.
So how did things turn so nasty toward Nadya and her decisions? Here's a good take from Brendon O'Neill at Spiked Online called And Act of Extreme Fecundity
When Nadya Suleman gave birth to six boys and two girls in five minutes on 26 January, it was greeted as a ‘midwinter miracle’, a story that ‘cheered recession-hit America’, a ‘welcome relief from bailouts and bankruptcies’. Now, with the eight babes barely one week old, it has become a shrill parable about overpopulation, resource depletion, the dangers of fertility treatment and the problem of ‘poor mothers’. The story has shapeshifted from a ‘ray of sunshine for a nation in the grip of economic meltdown’ to a ‘tale of seedy self-indulgence’
Yeah, this is what really hits me. Why is it that everything turned around so fast? Is it because Suleman is single? Is it because we are suspicious of the fertility industry? Are we really going to forget the horrors of population control and pretend we are concerned with her family's carbon footprint?
Nope. Not really buying that shit. Leave the woman and her family alone. Go pick on somebody your own size or bigger. Take one tax loophole away from an oil company and you'd have funds to feed all the children of the world, including the Suleman's.
The way these stories distract us from doing good activist work and making a difference in the world today is truly sad.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Rain Taxi reading
Tonight I went to a reading by Dan Beachy-Quick sponsored by Rain Taxi at Open Book.
It was an interesting experience. There were about 50 people in attendance and I actually knew three people. Which is quite a lot, considering.
Beachy-Quick's book is about Moby Dick. Sort of. And it was interesting, despite my reluctance to follow poetry.
Honestly, I don't understand a lot of this fascination with dead literature and poets. But hanging out at a place that honors printing and typography is nice.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Flight from the Enchanter by Iris Murdoch
I Just finished reading this book last week. I've only read one other book by Murdoch, The Bell, which I enjoyed quite a lot. This is an early novel, Murdoch's second, and it's damned funny. Quite a combination of characters, all connected to each other in ways that are hard to figure out in the beginning. Each character is bounced from one event to the other, seemingly unaware and out of control most of the time. Which is kind of like life.
The part that had me laughing, long-time activist I am, is the meeting of the old ladies to discuss the sale of "The Artemis", a magazine they founded in the radicalism of youth, maintain "shares" in but haven't bothered to read or consider for years. Now, however, there is a proposal to sell the publication and, of course, everyone has an opinion and feels honor bound to expound upon it. Except for one woman with a hearing aid who can understand nothing and keeps lamenting the fact loudly. Unfortunately, with my bad hearing, that seems to be my role these days.
"Order, order!" said Mrs. Carrington-Morris.
"Oh, get on with it!" sazid Mrs. Wingfiled.
"Look here," said the lady in the mantilla, "do I rightly understand that it is proposed that the Artemis be sold?"
"That is the proposal," said Hunter.
"I don't think we can allow that, you know," said the woman with the grey fringe who had the air of one who believed herself to be the only person present who really understood what was going on.
.....A veiled lady who had not spoken so far leaned forward, rumbling like a clock before she gave utterance. "Mmmm - do I understand you to say that it is proposed to sell the Artemis to - a man?"
Hunter gestured hopelessly. "I've been running the thing for two years now," he said, "and after all I'm a man!"
A stiff silence followed this shameless declaration.
Yup. Familiar. Heh.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
You've got to be kidding me. 1,000 books? You MUST read?
OK. Confession time. Way back when I was a struggling English major at the University of Minnesota, I stumbled upon a book called something like "Books for the college bound" and I decided I had to collect them all. I haunted used bookstores and many of the local ones, most notably Biermaiers Books, made quite a lot of money off my efforts to collect all of the listed books. I read and I read and I tried to become a self-taught literature snob. I wrote long hand-written reviews in the college-ruled notebooks I favored at the time.
Rather than savoring the reading, I racked up the reading like points on a basketball scoreboard. So I missed quite a lot, of course.
And still, the lure of the "XXX best books" list still has its appeal. I want to be one of those cultured people who has read the books and understands the cultural references. Also, I want the pleasure of a damn good book.
But these lists, they are so arbitrary. This latest one by the Guardian newspaper in the UK is beyond ridiculous. How many of us have the time to read 1,000 books? Isn't that cheating? Shouldn't we demand the list be chopped down to 10 or thereabouts?
Because, seriously, just read Beloved a few hundred times and you will have learned more than you could possibly know about life and the power of words.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009