Identity Crisis

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty Vendela Vida If you take inventory of what distinguishes you from the next guy, it’s really overwhelming. There’s the obvious stuff like your name, physical description, clothes and carried belongings; then there’s the esoteric: memories, experiences and people that populate them. In fact we seldom consider the identity fodder between…

Form Over Fiction

God Help the Child Toni Morrison Toni Morrison, an author that I gladly read twice, thrice, whatever it takes, that I study and annotate and emulate, came out with her highly anticipated novel, God Help the Child. Even with her illustrious presence as author, literary thought leader, Nobel, Pulitzer, et al., this, her eleventh novel,…

What’s in a Microaggression?

Queen Sugar Natalie Baszile You’ve no doubt been on the giving or receiving end of a comment that borders on “hey, wait-a-minute” and “maybe I should just let that one go.” Me too, and each is equally awkward to the well intentioned. So, what is microaggression and what does it have to do with the…

Beloved: A Biblical Excavation

Beloved Toni Morrison What more is there to say about Beloved, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Toni Morrison? It tackles the ghostly legacy of slavery. It uses both cultural and biblical mysticism in its narrative. Its prose is lyrical and literally shifts to poetry at some points, notably in part two when the three main…

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi Reading Lolita in Tehran takes you to another place–really–I mean you are “not in Kansas anymore!”  Author, Azar Nafisi envelopes you with the textural content of a post-revolution Tehran and with scenes from her teaching experience there.  She teaches fiction at University of Allameh Tabatabei, where her feminist interpretations of literary…

Healing from Family Rifts

Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member Mark Sichel I didn’t find this book. This book found me! I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office and noticed it on the bookshelf. While all the other books were placed uniformly, this one was…

Emotions vs. Economics

Still Alice Lisa Genova In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, Alice Howland, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Alice is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at…