A sometimes grim but ultimately uplifting and tender memoir from a woman who moved beyond victim status and embraced her...

BEAUTIFUL JUSTICE

RECLAIMING MY WORTH AFTER HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND SEXUAL ABUSE

A survivor of sexual abuse and human trafficking shares her story and healing process.

When Axtell (Kore of the Incantation, 2010, etc.), a poet and musician, was a child, her male nanny abused her and sold her to other men for sex. Though she grew up believing the lies she was told by her abusers, part of her knew they weren’t true. While many women have recently stepped forward to tell their stories of abuse or harassment, Axtell’s story is different, as she focuses primarily on her healing and advocates for other women to do the same. “We are not victims, or even merely survivors,” she writes. “We are the new generation of leaders, fiercely devoted to creating a world where our lives are valued. And that begins with valuing our own voices.” The author released some of her pain through dance, writing, and singing, but she also used alcohol and unhealthy sexual relationships to mask her pain. In this candid retelling of her story, Axtell chronicles her traumatic past and the long, continuing road she has traveled to release her grief, fears, and anger and reclaim her sense of strength. Though her story is consistently heart-wrenching, readers will also share in her joy and optimism as she finds effective methods to cope with her anguish. Axtell has gone on to become an advocate for other sex abuse survivors, founding the healing community She Is Rising, and she shares the stories of a few others among her own. Perhaps the most useful section of the book is the end, where Axtell provides readers with the therapeutic techniques, mantras, meditations, and questions she has used to overcome her own pain.

A sometimes grim but ultimately uplifting and tender memoir from a woman who moved beyond victim status and embraced her full potential despite the unimaginable suffering she endured as a child.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58005-824-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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