Of interest as a visual record of ordinary places now exalted in history and memory.

THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER

PHOTOGRAPHS INSPIRED BY THE VOTING RIGHTS MOVEMENT

An earnest photographic exploration of some key loci of the Southern civil rights movement and its aftermath.

“We are a country born of slavery followed by one hundred years of codified legal racism,” writes Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, in her stirring, too-brief foreword. She lands on a key point: the “ordinariness” of the images by Abranowicz, a commercial and travel photographer. Those photographs sometimes speak volumes, as with the juxtaposition of a literacy test imposed on Black voters in Alabama—one that few college-educated Whites would be able to pass—with a street view of the tiny house where a Mississippi minister working to register the voters once lived until being gunned down by an unknown assassin in 1955. That’s just one instance of the many recorded here of ordinary violence against Black people young and old during the time of Jim Crow and that continues to be inflicted on them today in so many forms—including the near-indentured work of the imprisoned population, an example of which Abranowicz locates in a Birmingham steel mill. The understated narrative arc suggests that, as one section title has it, there is hope for redemption. As Abranowicz notes, commenting on a photograph of a dirt road, Greenwood, Mississippi, was once a cotton center, then a “hotbed of voter-registration activity and protest in the 1960s,” and finally a place where a Black woman was elected mayor in 2006. A few errors creep into the text—e.g., Jefferson Davis was not alive in 1898 to dedicate what is correctly known as the Confederate Memorial Monument—and some of the photos are merely average. The best of them, though, depict people who continue the fight today, such as Florida lawyer Desmond Meade, who advocates against a modern “poll tax” imposed on ex-felons.

Of interest as a visual record of ordinary places now exalted in history and memory.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4773-2174-4

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Univ. of Texas

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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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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A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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