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Tuesday, December 01, 2015



I Am Forbidden



I Am Forbidden

Anouk Markovits



There’s a certain, definite, albeit indescribable quality to post-World War II European fiction writing that marks it a different species from the literature of the United States.  It’s not about the quality of the writing. It’s not about the intensity of the narrative or even the truths that are told through the fictions. If there is an appropriate word to use it is “sensibility” though I don’t believe that that’s quite right either. It would be easy, too easy, to ground the differences in the varied experiences of World War II and that is probably part of it. It would be easy, too easy, to ground the differences in the decades of occupation that much of Europe experienced after the war by the Soviet Union and governments aligned with it and that is also probably part of it.

But whatever it is it carries aloft  the haunting whispers from a 100 generations of the collective unconscious descended from those who staked their claim and endured; those who found peace in the still moments of timelessness when aching sadness begets beauty and the sacred can be the creation of the greatest sins.


The Appointment

Herta Muller



Between Shades of Gray


Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys


“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”

This is the world in which fifteen-year-old Lina is living in in 1941. She is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer when the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her, her mother, and younger brother to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. Her life was just beginning and now all is lost.

Lina fights for her life and, vows that if she survives, she will document their experience in her art and writing to honor her family, and the thousands like them.

Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that captures your heart, keeps you reading late into the night, and reveals the miraculous endurance of the human spirit.




Copper Sun


Copper Sun Cover

Copper Sun
by Sharon M. Draper


Set in the 18th century, Copper Sun tells the story of two protagonists, Amari and Polly. Amari is a fifteen-year-old Ashanti girl living in her village happily awaiting her marriage to Besa. Life is good in their village until one day slave traders invade the village killing much of Amari’s tribe. The survivors are shackled and taken to Cape Coast where they are branded and forced into a slave boat which is headed to the Carolinas. Once there, Amari is sold to a plantation owner and given to his son Clay as his sixteenth birthday present.

It is on the plantation that Amari meets Polly, an indentured servant. The girls become involved in a horrible act of cruelty which affords them the opportunity to flee the Carolina plantation and head toward Florida where they dream of being free.

This book is dedicated to Draper's grandfather and grandmother, Estelle. In Draper’s research of Copper Sun, she actually traveled to the slave castles in Ghana several years ago. Copper Sun is not an easy book to read—many of the passages are heart wrenching and emotionally draining. Yet Copper Sun is a story that must be told. Draper has written a truly moving story—a page turner indeed! Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun is the winner of the 2007 Coretta Scott King Award.







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