A vibrant, high-spirited collection that will appeal to those on one side of this complex geopolitical conundrum.

An anthology calling upon American writers to address the plight of the Palestinians.

Editor Freeman (On Sal Mal Lane, 2013, etc.) notes in her introduction, “what can and cannot be done in America is a question that carries enormous hope on the part of people who do not live here.” She casts “the impetus to ask a group of writers to reflect on the ongoing assault on the thin and shifting borders of Palestine” in historical terms, citing similar projects rooted in the tumult of 1937 and 1967. The structure is somewhat jumbled: such sections as “Erasure” or “The Un/Making of History” mix fiction, poetry, or narrative essays, while only some writers provide introductory commentary. Several well-known writers responded with older work, like novelist Colum McCann, who notes, “this might sound odd, but there is as much Gaza as Derry in this story.” In describing her poem “The Story of Joshua,” Alicia Ostricker avers, “as an American Jew...Israel/Palestine is like a weird doppelganger beating and beating alongside my own heart.” Some authors present fusions of form, such as Janne Teller’s alphabetized entry, which indexes the events leading to the current state of conflict. Other writers respond with brief essays examining one aspect of the situation—e.g., Laila Lalami’s “The Nameless Palestinian Prisoners,” which notes the refusal of Israeli newspapers to acknowledge the identities of detainees; or Kiese Laymon’s “My Mama Went to Palestine,” which recalls her mother’s lifelong study of “poverty and structural oppression.” Elsewhere, poet Naomi Shihab Nye tersely compares the deaths of children in Gaza to recollections of an idyllic childhood in Ferguson, Missouri, now known for its own unrest. Other notable contributors include Jane Hirshfield, Tess Gallagher, Leslie Jamison, Claire Messud, Alice Walker, Teju Cole, and George Saunders.

A vibrant, high-spirited collection that will appeal to those on one side of this complex geopolitical conundrum.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-682190-08-1

Page Count: 430

Publisher: OR Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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