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					Reviews                             GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWS: Reviews are arranged under               the stars.” In “Love Lettuce,” Flavia Alaya tells how her Dutch
                                    broad subject categories, with subcategories where appropri-     husband becomes “Italian by marriage” because of the foods
                                    ate (for example, age-group categories for children’s books).    he eats. The majority of works, however, transcend the par-
                                    The categories are arranged roughly by field in the following    ticular male/female relationships and delve into individual
                                    order: humanities, biography, history, religion, education,      psyches, exploring the balance between self and culture.
                                    social sciences, reference, juvenile works, and nonprint            This anthology illuminates the power of food for Italian-
                                    materials. Within each subject category, reviews are arranged    American women in times of poverty and prejudice, success
                                    in alphabetical order by author surname. Each review is pref-    and celebration, loss and spiritual recovery. Humor, histori-
                                    aced by a three-part numbering system: a two digit volume        cal insights, recipes, family trials, and joys invite readers to
                                    number, with the first year of publication designated as 01; a   participate. Italian Americans will laugh and cry with the
                                    one-digit issue number; and a four-digit review number that      authors. So too will any reader, regardless of ethnic roots, who
                                    runs consecutively within each individual volume year. For       can enter the community of bright, loud, sexy, serious, sweet,
                                    example, 04-1-0024 refers to review number 24 in volume          subversive voices that offer a tasty repast. Buon appetito!
                                    4, issue 1. Individual review entries begin with a headnote,                                              — Elaine R. Ognibene
                                    which indicates the review number and a full bibliographic                                                           Siena College
                                    citation. Audio materials, videocassettes, and computer
                                    software are reviewed in separate categories. The review sec-    12-1-0002
                                    tion is followed by author, title, and subject indexes keyed     Nitaawichige: Selected Poetry and Prose by Four
                                    to the review numbers described above. Thesaurus citations       Anishinaabe Writers. Duluth, Minn.: Poetry Harbor,
                                    in the author index indicate relevant ethnic groups, races,      2002. 128 pp. ISBN 1-886895-28-7, $22.95 (pb).
                                    religions, and, where appropriate, geographic regions. The
                                    review section concludes with a directory of the publishers          This lively text brings together a range of accomplished
                                    cited in a particular issue. The cumulative index for each       writers, each of whom has published at least one book, and
                                    volume year appears in the December issue of that year.          each is an active advocate of Anishinaabe rights. The reader



                                    Literature
                                                                                                     encounters such topics as the shenanigans of tribal councils,
                                                                                                     the tensions inherent in reservation and urban living (and the
                                                                                                     difficult task of negotiating the two worlds), and the impor-
                                                                                                     tance of remembering and keeping family and community
                                                                                                     connections alive. In the end, the thread that ties these writers
                                    General Anthologies                                              together is a concern for both personal and community iden-
                                                                                                     tity.
                                    12-1-0001                                                            Jim Northrup’s “Shinnob Jep” offers a laugh-out-loud spi-
                                    DeSalvo, Louise and Giunta, Edvidge, eds. The Milk of            noff, Anishinaabe-style, of the Jeopardy game show. The terse
                                    Almonds: Italian American Women Writers on Food                  and often edgy poems of Marcie R. Rendon focus on both
                                    and Culture. New York: Feminist Press, 2002. 386 pp. ISBN        women’s issues and those of Indians living in urban settings.
                                    1-55861-392-7, $26.95.                                           Where Rendon’s poems offer quick and sometimes angry
                                                                                                     jabs, Linda LeGarde Grover’s poetry selections are typically
                                        “Food,” the editors write, plays a “particularly important   longer narratives that build a heart-wrenching momentum,
                                    part in defining modes of power within an Italian American       a momentum that sometimes takes a while to develop. The
                                    domestic context.” In this impressive anthology, contributors    text closes with Denise Sweet’s poems, all of which are beau-
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    reveal diverse portraits of Italian-American women who tell      tiful lyrical renditions of personal narratives; like so many
                                    secrets about unmet hungers, build bridges to their ethnic       good poets, Sweet approaches sentimentality with just the
                                    heritage, and engage in a process of cultural recovery using     right touch and precision, not allowing her poems to falter
                                    food as the medium for their message. The words, like many       into maudlin recollections.
                                    Italian foods, are rich and need time to be savored.                 It seems to me a wonderful thing that such a strong col-
                                        Novelist Carole Maso begins with a narrative about the       lection, one that focuses on a single tribal community, can
                                    “miracle” of breast-feeding that leads her daughter to hold      be published.
                                    “life in her mouth,” as she reaches up for “Mommy’s milk in                                                       — Todd Fuller
                                                                                                                                                        Pawnee, Okla




58
                                                                    was writing about a timeless theme, that she was more con-
12-1-0003                                                           cerned with “emotional truth” than history. Despite its pon-
Weaver, Afaa Michael, ed. These Hands I Know: African-              derous detail, Paradise Alley appears to follow this pattern.
American Writers on Family. Lexington, Ky.: Sarabande                                                                 — Eric Zeisler
Books, 2002. 249 pp. ISBN 1-889330-72-8, $16.95 (pb).                                                                New York, N.Y.

   This wonderful compilation of 17 pieces about family, as         12-1-0005
told by some of America’s best-known African-American writ-         Carter, Karen DeGroot. One Sister’s Song. Denver, Colo.:
ers and scholars, presents personal recollections of events in      Pearl Street Publishing, 2002. 216 pp. ISBN 0-9673867-3-X,
the contributors’ lives. Among the pieces are poems, essays,        $15.00 (pb).
and memoirs; the authors include Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,
Alice Walker, Edwidge Danticat, and Fred D’Aguiar. Some of              Carter has given us a love story and a lesson in history
the writings are poignant, some are sweet, others just inter-       and sociology all tied up in one work. Audrey Conarroe, a
esting. In some of the pieces the authors open up and allow         young biracial career woman, suddenly finds herself a single
the audience into parts of their lives that they may not have       parent to her 14-year-old black nephew, Julian. Neither
shared before.                                                      Audrey nor Julian is happy about the situation. This story
   The book is enjoyable because it gives a human aspect to         of how Audrey deals with the hardships she encounters in
the authors whom we readers sometimes forget are people             this role explores family dynamics, racial identity, and the
just like us, with the same problems and concerns that we           struggles of a single woman facing unexpected changes.
face. The book is light reading and enjoyable.                          The love story part leaves one guessing until the very end
                                    — Charlie Spencer Lackey        as to who gets the woman. There are touching, romantic
                             Duke Univ. Medical School Library      scenes that make one want to cheat and read the end first.
                                                                    It is one of the few romances that I have read in recent years
Fiction                                                             where sex is not the central theme of the romance. There is
                                                                    also a wonderful history subplot that will make readers won-
12-1-0004                                                           der about their property or view old houses differently when
Baker, Kevin. Paradise Alley. New York: HarperCollins,              they drive through the countryside.
2002. 688 pp. ISBN 0-06-019582-7, $26.95.                               Carter’s well-written and smooth-flowing story holds the
                                                                    reader’s interest throughout. It is recommended to anyone
   Baker’s latest historical novel flashes back and forth           who enjoys a good romance with social issues thrown in.
between New York City during the Civil War Draft Riots and                                              — Charlie Spencer Lackey
Ireland during the potato famine. He tells his story through                                      Duke Univ. Medical School Library
three Irish-American women—a poor woman married to an
ex-slave, a prostitute, and a woman with middle-class aspi-         12-1-0006
rations. Their narratives reveal the impact of a generation’s       Chaudhuri, Amit. R*E*A*L T*I*M*E: Stories and a
worth of events on themselves and the men in their lives—           Reminiscence. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.
fathers, sons, brothers, and lovers.                                184 pp. ISBN 0-374-28169-6, $21.00.
   While Baker laudably attempts to expose the conflict
between the Irish and recently freed slaves, the characters             Real Time is a winning short story collection by a
are scarcely more than one-dimensional representations of           gifted writer with a unique voice and a refreshing turn of
their race, gender, and class. The overwhelming historical          phrase. Delicately spun as the most intricate of cobwebs,
detail cuts into the narrative tension. The reader is also left     his vignettes capture the subtle nuances and indefinable
with the impression that the New York of the Civil War was          moments in people’s lives. Through his wry sense he exhib-
the bastion of liberal thinking it later became, pitting the        its a deep empathy for the human condition replete with all
pro-Union educated classes against the doltish working-class        its vanities and foibles.
                                                                                                                                       MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


pro-Confederacy ruffians. Yet in 1864 Lincoln won the state             Chaudhuri sketches the posh flats on Marine Drive in
by only the smallest of margins, and he lost the city by a          Bombay, the threadbare studios of inebriated artists in
landslide. New Yorkers of different social and ethnic strata        impoverished tenements, and the old-world atmosphere
were united in their Southern sympathies, though for starkly        of middle-class Calcutta. He exposes the concealed interior
different reasons.                                                  world behind the banalities of social interactions. An ambi-
   There is a dangerous trend appearing in some historical fic-     tious businessman who gains a sudden insight into his own
tion in the last few years. Heidi Julavits, author of The Mineral   shortcomings at a party is overcome by middle-age lassitude
Palace, has stated that while writing her book she felt that she    and a sense of resignation. After the first flush of excitement
“was beyond the stringent parameters of history” because she        at meeting, two old friends face the unbridgeable chasm




                                                                                                                                         59
                                    t continued fiction reviews

                                    between them and the inevitable parting of ways that must         Press, 2002. 152 pp. ISBN 1-931010-07-2, $14.00 (pb).
                                    follow this sad knowledge.
                                       People on the cusp of self-revelation, colleagues locked           Both of these books demonstrate the quality and variety
                                    into relations of camaraderie and competition, veils of           of contemporary Chicano/a literature.
                                    revelation and concealment between married couples, the               A Santo in the Image of Cristóbal García is the final install-
                                    perversity of children in the presence of visitors, and a mul-    ment in Collignon’s story of Guadalupe, a tiny village in
                                    titude of other situations spring to life under Chaudhuri’s       New Mexico, following The Journal of Antonio Montoya and
                                    masterful pen. His whimsical writing is certain to leave read-    Perdido. It is not necessary to read the first two novels in
                                    ers sighing and chuckling.                                        order to understand the third, but you will probably want to.
                                                                           — Jaswinder Gundara        A Santo gives readers the entire history of the village, from
                                                                                 Coral Gables, Fla.   its reluctant founding by Cristóbal García to the morning
                                                                                                      when Flavio Montoya witnesses the approach of the fires that
                                    12-1-0007                                                         threaten to consume it. Collignon’s deceptively simple style
                                    Chun, Pam. The Money Dragon. Naperville, Ill.:                    is reminiscent of the magical realism of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless
                                    Sourcebooks, 2002. 336 pp. ISBN 1-57071-866-0, $24.00.            Me, Ultima, except that the point of view here is that of the
                                                                                                      aged Flavio. Flavio is not so much the narrator of the story as
                                        Though technically a novel, Chun’s book is actually a         he is the listener. The history of the village is created through
                                    history of her great-grandfather, the self-styled L. Ah Leong,    the stories that Flavio remembers. Many of the characters are
                                    who rose from extreme poverty in his native China to              compulsive storytellers (a trait they share with their creator)
                                    become the owner of much of downtown Honolulu’s prime             and the result is stories within stories. Flavio just wants to
                                    real estate. Aided by his six-foot-tall, sharp-witted wife Dai-   tend his fields, but the forces of destruction that prevent him
                                    Kam, Ah Leong began with a general store around 1900 and          from doing so are evident from the birth of the village.
                                    became Hawai’i’s first Chinese millionaire by the 1920s. But          Sofía’s Saints tells the story of Sofía Loren Sauceda,
                                    according to Chun’s story, when he reached his seventies,         a 30-year-old Chicana from Corpus Christi, Texas, who
                                    still in his physical prime, the colorful patriarch became        waits tables to support her art habit. In a town that can’t
                                    more King Lear than Horatio Alger, if one can imagine a           get enough images of Selena (she replaces the Virgin of
                                    Lear with five wives (only one legal under Hawai’i law—but        Guadalupe on a mural painted on the side of a restaurant
                                    deciding which one becomes a huge legal debate) and many          and Botticelli’s Venus in a painting in a bank), Sofía stub-
                                    children, some treacherous, some Cordelia-like in filial loy-     bornly refuses to compromise her artistic vision, even to
                                    alty. Arrogantly overconfident after years of hard-earned         earn enough money to buy the house she has lived in for
                                    wealth and achievement of “face,” in the habit of brow-           most of her life. She sees saints in the swirls of the grain of
                                    beating his children and foolishly trusting certain relatives’    wood and draws them with a pyroelectric pen. Her drawings
                                    viperish gossip, Ah Leong brings disaster upon his clan. The      juxtapose the other world and this one: “Instead of in the
                                    novel is narrated by “Phoenix,” his first daughter-in-law.        blazes of hell, St. Lucifer stands in the oil refinery flames that
                                    Much of it seems fairytale-like in the scenes back in China,      stink up the edges of Corpus Christi.”
                                    featuring daring escapes from bandits and a gigantic palace           Although this is her first novel, López shows a real talent
                                    Ah Leong orders built to dazzle his native village, and excit-    for creating vivid characters. Sorting through memories of a
                                    ingly melodramatic in Honolulu. Chun includes family and          father she never knew and a mother who was joylessly pro-
                                    architectural photos and legal documents in an appendix.          miscuous, Sofía struggles with a tendency to distance herself
                                        The book is at times a bit awkward in its structure and       from others. She witnesses the mistakes of her friends and
                                    its dispersal of historical information, though much of the       makes a few of her own on her way to figuring out who she
                                    detail is vital to the plot. The entire second half of the tale   is and how she wants to live. She is fiercely independent and
                                    is compelling reading, as Phoenix and her loving husband          determined to make her own mistakes.
                                    struggle with their domineering parents—who are engaged               From the rural harshness and beauty of Collignon’s
                                    in their own epic battle with one another—and scheming            Guadalupe to the funky urban setting of López’s Corpus
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    “aunties” and cousins, all against a backdrop of a changing       Christi, these writers create places worth visiting and char-
                                    Hawai’i in its early territorial days.                            acters worth listening to.
                                                                                   — Joseph Milicia                                                   — Cynthia Taylor
                                                                       Univ. of Wisconsin–Sheboygan                                          Univ. of Southern Colorado

                                    12-1-0008                                                         12-1-0009
                                    Collignon, Rick. A Santo in the Image of Cristóbal                Connor, Bernadette Y. The Parcel Express Murders.
                                    García. Denver, Colo.: BlueHen, 2002. 336 pp. ISBN 0-399-         Philadelphia: Bee-Con Books, 2002. 226 pp. ISBN 0-9715838-
                                    14921-X, $23.95.                                                  1-1, $13.00 (pb).

                                    López, Diana. Sofía’s Saints. Tempe, Ariz.: Bilingual Review/        The Parcel Express Murders is part police procedural and


60
part well-written romance novel. The title refers to a killer’s   ouin life. Nicola’s misfortunes suggest a metaphor for Egypt’s
method of disposing of murder weapons.                            continuing struggle in the second half of the twentieth cen-
    The main character is Samoa Tate, a 30-year-old successful    tury. The deceptively simple prose, in excellent translation,
African-American psychiatrist. She first learns from televi-      carries the story inexorably toward a grim conclusion.
sion news of the murder of a local businessman and his                The Watchers, by an outstanding writer who was assassi-
female companion. At first, Samoa’s only connection with          nated in the 1990s reign of terror in Algeria, waged by radical
the murders is that her best friend’s husband and his partner     Islamic forces against intellectuals, seems a prediction of its
are the police detectives on the case. However, she is soon       author’s fate. In this novel, a young teacher has devised a
referred a new patient, the businessman’s widow, who has          simplified loom in the idealistic hope of reviving the crafts
come to discuss her unfaithful husband’s death.                   of village women. Determined to present his model at an
    The novel alternates the police investigation with scenes     international inventors’ congress in Europe, he tries to
from Samoa’s professional and personal lives. They all            renew his passport, only to meet one senseless bureaucratic
become intertwined as Samoa and Edward Clark, one of the          obstruction after another. Finally he succeeds in his plan,
detectives, begin a romantic relationship. This relationship      and when the press picks up on his success, he becomes
is the core of the novel. But Samoa needs more. The author        a local celebrity. But the power-holders of his small town,
repeatedly correlates Samoa’s fear of emotional intimacy          knowing the truth will come out concerning the obstacles
with a man and her mother and herself having been aban-           placed in his way, cannot face the expected embarrassment.
doned by Samoa’s father prior to her birth.                       Someone, they decide, must be made a scapegoat for the
    When the killer is apprehended, it is discovered that         bumbling of officialdom.
Samoa had another connection to the murderous events.                 The chain of events, described in a dryly ironic style,
There is maybe one coincidence too many in this novel, but        often verges toward dark comedy, and passages about the
overall it is an enjoyable read.                                  youth of the two central characters provide lyrical interludes
                                         — Catherine Crohan       of poignant beauty. But this is a deadly serious depiction of
                                          Siena College Library   ideological rigidity and oppression. The morally weak are
                                                                  corrupted and swallowed, while the innocent—like Ilya in
12-1-0010                                                         Seeds of Corruption—are sacrificed to serve the designs of the
Djaout, Tahar. The Watchers. St. Paul, Minn.: Ruminator           power-holders. Both books can be well recommended for
Books, 2002. 207 pp. Trans. from French by Marjolijn de           college age.
Jager. ISBN 1-886913-54-4, $23.00.                                                                               — Elsa Marston
                                                                                                                Bloomington, Ind.
Moussa, Sabri. Seeds of Corruption. Northampton, Mass.:
Interlink, 2002. 192 pp. Trans. from Arabic by Mona N.            12-1-0011
Mikhail. ISBN 1-56656-457-3, $12.95 (pb).                         Hall, Rachel Howzell. A Quiet Storm. New York: Simon &
                                                                  Schuster, 2002. 250 pp. ISBN 0-7432-2616-X, $13.00 (pb).
    Corrupted government that both shapes and betrays
society provides a dominant theme in much literature from            Hall presents an apparently happy middle-class African-
Third World novelists.                                            American family living in California. This “American Pie”
    A tale of betrayal and disillusionment, Seeds of Corruption   family is not poverty-stricken, does not live in public hous-
(first published in 1980) reveals the outcome of the story at     ing, and both parents are in the home. In this seemingly
the start and then leads up to the events that explain the        blissful family are two daughters.
bitter present. The central character, Nicola, is an engineer        The older daughter, Arika, is intelligent, glamorous, and
who drifts from his European origins to Egypt and finds           creative, but the menacing, prodigious, devastating disease
himself involved in a mining operation in the Eastern des-        of mental illness surfaces and the whole family is shattered.
ert. Two things give his life meaning. The first is his work,     Due to the stigma of mental illness, the family lives in
the challenge of expanding the mine and organizing the            denial, and Arika does not get counseling.
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


inland mining community and the seaside port; the other is           Hall shows how the disease starts out as a quiet storm and
his teenaged daughter Ilya, result of a nearly forgotten mar-     then escalates into a tornado. Arika seeks freedom from the
riage. So successful are Nicola’s operations that the seaside     menacing disease by marrying a rich medical doctor. This
village attracts novelty-seeking visitors from Egypt’s upper      act only intensifies the problem and paves the way for aug-
classes, including its notorious last king (which sets the        mented tragedy. Arika then tries to get away from the disease
action around 1950). Ilya is caught in the clash of innocence     by spending excessively. The minister from the church per-
and depravity, leading to the guilt-obsessed madness of her       forms his ritual but the disease refuses to abate.
father.                                                              Throughout the novel Hall describes the numerous nega-
    The desert as a place of both fascination and death pro-      tive forms of “Band-Aid therapy” utilized by Arika and her
vides a powerful setting for this drama, in which the world       family to annihilate this deleterious disease. In the tragic end,
that has ensnared Nicola contrasts with the integrity of bed-     the disease wins. This fictional treatment of mental illness is



                                                                                                                                        61
                                    tcontinued fiction reviews

                                    honest and compelling and recommended for public librar-           large stretches of the American mythopoetic landscape. One
                                    ies.                                                               clever instance is Park’s “McDonald’s-izing” of the American
                                                                      — Maxine M. Agazie               penchant for personal reinvention. “Dr. Namumanu can
                                                                    Albany (Ga.) State Univ.           do miracles,” his gorgeous soon-to-be wife tells Boy Genius.
                                                                                                       “She wants to open a chain of clinics all around the world so
                                    12-1-0012                                                          that people can walk in anytime and walk out with a whole
                                    Hardy, James Earl. Love the One You’re With. New York:             new face.” After Boy Genius and his bride have had their
                                    HarperCollins/Amistad, 2002. 224 pp. ISBN 0-06-621248-0,           faces Americanized by Dr. Namumanu, they agree to tour
                                    $22.95.                                                            Europe “every chance we got to get better acquainted with
                                                                                                       our roots.”
                                       Increasingly considered a key player in the broadening lit-         Park’s hero also happens on “a large hunched figure” in
                                    erary canon of varieties of black masculinities, Hardy builds      a seedy laundromat who slips him a quickie bliss-inducer
                                    on his immensely popular B-Boy Blues series. Though it may         called Indira, sought by “twenty-five multinational pharma-
                                    appear that writing about American gay male experiences            ceutical giants” that “want to mass produce it and unleash
                                    has long been deemed the province of white men, black gay          it in the ghetto.” Considering that some neurosurgeons
                                    male writers have a rich history (James Baldwin, Countee           actually argue that domestic urban rioters and foreign ter-
                                    Cullen, Langston Hughes). Hardy’s best-selling novels pro-         rorists are motivated by chemical imbalances in their brains,
                                    vide a credible take on that perceived universal black male        it appears that Boy Genius is seriously up-to-date as well as a
                                    taboo, homosexuality.                                              witty and thoroughly enjoyable satire from this Swarthmore
                                       How do African-American same-gender-loving men                  graduate.
                                    define themselves to be themselves? Phallocentrism and                 Kim’s brilliant first novel, The Interpreter, is more complex,
                                    intense eroticism, commonly thought of as universal black          though she also has it in for McDonald’s. In fact, the cultural
                                    male aesthetics, are not absent here. “Pooquie” and “Little        significance of food, Korean and American, is a minor motif
                                    Bit” are devoted to each other, but can the couple maintain        in this engaging immigrant tale. Suzy Park, Kim’s Korean-
                                    their relationship from a distance? Hardy’s straight-up por-       American interpreter for New York City’s courts, has also to
                                    trayal of love and its struggles points to one reason for his      interpret her own transient family’s past in the United States
                                    continued popularity. The novels have had crossover appeal,        and Korea after the brutal murder of her parents in their fruit
                                    as they point to commonalities among those of various gen-         and vegetable market. By following clues about her parents’
                                    ders, races, and sexual orientations involved in relationships.    life, offered by aging illegal Korean immigrants, and puz-
                                    Hardy is thoroughly in line with contemporary black gay            zling out her older sister’s childhood role as interpreter for
                                    male views. Clearly homoerotic, the book would be stronger         her parents in their new land, Suzy discovers the bitter truth
                                    without its sometimes sexism/misogyny.                             that her volubly anti-American father was actually a stoolie
                                       The book is recommended for academic and public librar-         for the INS and city police. The revelation is profoundly
                                    ies collecting American, African-American, or gay literature       unsettling and forces Suzy to come to grips with her own
                                    at all levels and for all undergraduate and graduate collec-       selfish sexual and intellectual escapism.
                                    tions supporting coursework in gay and lesbian studies.                Ultimately, Kim’s novel turns out to be partly a Graham
                                                                                  — Elsa Bruguier      Greene/John le Carré tale of the severe tensions between
                                                               Union County (N.J.) College Libraries   amoral institutional power and blossoming personal integ-
                                                                                                       rity, and partly a confrontational epiphany of the specifi-
                                    12-1-0013                                                          cally American meaning of self-conscious freedom. Along
                                    Kim, Suki. The Interpreter. New York: Farrar, Straus &             the way, Kim pours out all she knows about the inner life
                                    Giroux, 2003. 288 pp. ISBN 0-374-17713-9, $24.00.                  of a complicated immigrant experience. A heady first effort,
                                                                                                       enchantingly written.
                                    Park, Youngsoo. Boy Genius. New York: Akashic Books,                                                              — Leo J. Mahoney
                                    2002. 230 pp. ISBN 1-888451-24-6, $14.95 (pb).                                                      Turco-British Association, Ankara
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                       Here are a couple of provocative immigrant chronicles           12-1-0014
                                    from young Korean-American writers, both of whose quite            Lin, Ed. Waylaid. New York: Kaya, 2002. 196 pp. ISBN 1-
                                    different literary talents are impressive. Both novels reprise     885030-32-0, $12.95 (pb).
                                    and project major themes of America’s immigrant experi-
                                    ence.                                                                 The 1980s setting of Lin’s first novel is bleak: a shabby
                                       It’s arguable whether Boy Genius succeeds in deflating          Jersey Shore motel whose clientele ranges from summer-
                                    America’s outsize immigrant mythology to manageable                season “Bennys” (working-class Bayonne-Elizabeth-Newark-
                                    proportions; Park’s blatant sarcasm hilariously pillories          New-Yorkers seeking sex and sun) to off-season prostitutes




62
and johns, and during the winter, the desperate elderly                                                  — Danilo H. Figueredo
men who can afford only the lowest rates. The 12-year-old                                              Bloomfield College Library
narrator helps his struggling, humorless Chinese-immigrant         12-1-0016
parents run the motel, fends off white bullies and endures         Major, Marcus. A Man Most Worthy. New York: Dutton,
ghastly teachers at school, hates the thought of being             2003. 324 pp. ISBN 0-525-94685-3, $23.95.
“Chinese” rather than “American,” and fantasizes about los-
ing his virginity (his sex education coming mostly from the           Major (4 Guys and Trouble, Good People) has pulled it off
magazines discarded by the renters) before he turns 13. He         again with this latest sure-fire blockbuster. He is a master
succeeds at the last, at least partly because the girls his age    of relationships, portrayed from both the male and female
seem to have no greater prospects in life than he does.            perspective. At age 36, self-made millionaire John Sebastian
   Yet Waylaid is exhilarating rather than depressing to read,     has all he’s ever wanted—his own business, mansion, and
thanks to Lin’s brilliant style. The boy’s narrative voice is      young and beautiful girlfriend. When he invites his mentor,
funny and incisive, with the details of the motel grounds          Mr. Duke, to Charlotte, North Carolina, to show him all he
and its denizens rendered so vividly, with such economy of         has accomplished, Mr. Duke sets off a series of irreversible
description, that the book is rarely merely sordid or despair-     changes in John’s attitude and behavior. Mr. Duke asks John
ing. (A walk through the interior of a long-abandoned ham-         if he is really happy. The answer is no! There is someone
burger stand begins: “The scene. . . reminded me of those          missing from John’s life—his true love, Josephine, who John
National Geographic features where they’d run a waterproof         walked away from seven years ago. It becomes clear what
camera through the former living quarters of an undersea           matters most—he wants Josephine back but must first prove
shipwreck.”) This is a most impressive debut novel.                himself worthy of her love. He moves to New Jersey, where
                                             — Joseph Milicia      Josephine still lives and where he plans to expand his com-
                                 Univ. of Wisconsin–Sheboygan      pany. However, all does not go as planned.
                                                                      This fast-paced and moving story of relationships, ambi-
12-1-0015                                                          tions, secrets, and deception is full of witty dialogue and
López, Lorraine. Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories.               raunchy sex. It’s sure to please loyal fans and provide lively
Willimantic, Conn.: Curbstone Press, 2002. 230 pp. ISBN 1-         discussion material for book clubs.
880684-86-1, $15.95.                                                                                             — Hattie Vines

   Reading a collection of short stories by a new writer is a                             12-1-0017
bit like the proverbial box of chocolate from Forrest Gump:                               Mason, Anita. The Yellow Cathedral.
you just don’t know what you’re going to get. But this vol-                               Denver, Colo.: Spinster’s Ink, 2002. 210
ume is by a writer who is truly gifted.                                                   pp. ISBN 1-883523-43-5, $14.00 (pb).
   López seems to have been influenced by literary giants.
Her eye for details and poetic touches allows her to craft                                     Mason’s    moving     eyewitness
descriptive passages that bring to mind the best of F. Scott                               account in the form of a novel recalls
Fitzgerald. Her characters are as vividly depicted as anything                             the tragic events that occurred in
Dickens drafted. And her sense of irony and humor reminds                                  Chiapas, Mexico, during the guer-
one of Vonnegut. For example, she writes about a woman                                     rilla war of 1994-95. In journalistic
who tells everyone she meets that she is an alcoholic, even                                fashion, Mason reveals what really
though she has never drunk in her life and dislikes the            happened between the government and the rebels, the
scent of alcohol—but she chooses to be an alcoholic as a           Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). For Mexico
precaution. The story “To Control a Rabid Rodent” is about         to progress and become an egalitarian society, liberals real-
a young boy who accidentally shoots a neighbor to death            ized that land reform must occur, but there have been no
while attempting to kill a rabid prairie dog. He is arrested by    real changes or improvements in almost a century. Caught
the local sheriff, who at first doesn’t believe the story about    in the struggle between the PRI, a virtual dictatorship, and
                                                                                                                                     MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


the animal. After his release, the boy’s mother sends him to       the more progressive PRD, indigenous peoples experienced
the neighbor with a bowl of Jell-O as a friendly gesture. On       repression, violence, and the murder of innocents. Against
his way next door, the boy hopes the Jell-O can serve him as       overwhelming odds, the EZLN sought justice and human
bulletproof vest in case the neighbors are upset with him.         rights by occupying the land, supporting the indigenous
   López has a keen insight into the human condition. All          groups in their struggle for autonomy against the pressures
of these stories are framed in a slice-of-life format, where the   of globalization, specifically, the NAFTA treaty.
narrative begins suddenly and casually and ends abruptly              Although the narrative unfolds through the eyes of 17-
and sometimes anticlimactically.                                   year-old Benito Trejo, a campesino, it also presents multiple




                                                                                                                                       63
                                    tcontinued fiction reviews

                                    points of view, including those of the president and gover-        exile in the United States and becomes a controversial arbi-
                                    nor, the rebels, and religious leaders involved in the struggle.   ter in a conflict between tradition (symbolized by red ochre)
                                    As in much of Latin America, the Catholic Church in Mexico         and modernity. Overall, the novel interrogates the issue of
                                    takes opposing positions, some priests supporting the status       “progress” and “civilization”—often with irony or delightful
                                    quo, others preaching liberation theology. The vast dichot-        humor, particularly in some playful names—not only for
                                    omy between the native religion and culture of the Mayan           one period and place but everywhere.
                                    Indians, and the established Catholic Church imposing its             Mda’s novels are significant for assessing the realities
                                    values, leads to insurmountable cultural conflicts. I found        of the “new” republic. Both call for a restoration of hope
                                    the book to be both engaging and enlightening.                     together with efficacious planning and a transformation of
                                                                            — Roberta Gordenstein      struggle to tranquillity for the country’s beleaguered people.
                                                                      Elms College, Chicopee, Mass.    Approaching these books in reverse, however, may be the
                                                                                                       best order to enjoy them. One might begin with the longer,
                                    12-1-0018                                                          more cerebral text and then turn to the briefer, more visceral
                                    Mda, Zakes. The Heart of Redness. New York: Farrar, Straus         piece for a stunning finish.
                                    & Giroux, 2002. 278 pp. ISBN 0-374-52834-9, $24.00.                                                               — Anne Serafin
                                                                                                                         Newton North High School, Newtonville, Mass.
                                    Mda, Zakes. Ways of Dying. New York: Picador USA, 2002.
                                    210 pp. ISBN 0-312-42091-9, $13.00 (pb).                           12-1-0019
                                                                                                       Miller, Karen E. Quinones. I’m Telling. New York: Simon &
                                        Mda is perhaps the most prominent South African writer         Schuster, 2002. 226 pp. ISBN 0-7432-1435-8, $21.00.
                                    to emerge in the past decade. Reading both of his novels is
                                    mandatory to gain his perspective on South Africa, past and           Miller, author of the best-selling Satin Doll, presents her
                                    present. Ways of Dying, from 1995 but published now for the        second novel. Thirty-year-old Faith Freeman is co-owner of
                                    first time in the United States, creates a bleak contemporary      a thriving literary agency in Harlem, has a beautiful apart-
                                    landscape but in an often humorously absurdist manner.             ment full of fine clothing and furniture, and is engaged to
                                    The Heart of Redness more realistically intertwines nine-          Henry, a long-time beau who is adoring and extravagantly
                                    teenth-century history with late-twentieth-century events.         generous. However, Faith’s family life is full of secrets. In
                                    Commentators have described some of Mda’s style as “magic          adulthood, Faith has taken on the role as family caretaker,
                                    realism” (more apparent in Dying than in Redness). I hesi-         but she harbors guilt and confusion for the spiraling descent
                                    tate, however, to adopt the term typically attached to Latin       of her twin sister, Hope, who has drifted into prostitution,
                                    American work. As Ben Okri has pointed out about himself           drugs, and shoplifting. Their mother doesn’t acknowledge
                                    and others, fantasy and spiritualism are an integral part of       how the secrets have affected her family and continues to
                                    the culture for African writers.                                   make excuses for her obesity. These issues propel each family
                                        Ways of Dying is presented in the mode of a folktale,          member’s life into an emotional whirlwind, which comes to
                                    occasionally shifting to a collective third-person narration.      a dramatic climax.
                                    Hardship and violence dominate the characters’ lives, yet             Miller has the ability to hold the reader’s attention
                                    ultimately, death—while shockingly prevalent—is recon-             throughout the novel. She tells the story with straightfor-
                                    structed as a positive element of life. The story introduces       ward dialogue, showing all dimensions of the novel’s char-
                                    Toloki, a self-styled Professional Mourner—complete with           acters, at the same time showing compassion. Miller also has
                                    black top hat and frock coat—who, alas, has increasing num-        the ability to create complex and believable characters that
                                    bers of funerals to attend. At one of the funerals, he discovers   tug at the reader’s emotions. Such is the case when out of
                                    a “homegirl,” Noria, whose child is being buried. Gradually,       the family’s darkest hour come love and redemption. With
                                    they develop a bond, despite childhood animosities, that           the emotional turmoil coming to a head, the reader might
                                    transcends their surroundings, including enchanted walks           wonder how a credible happy ending could come out of this
                                    through virtual gardens (among magazine pictures Toloki            turmoil. Miller somehow makes that happen.
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    pasted on the walls of Noria’s house). Soon their joy radi-                                                         — Dora Love
                                    ates to their community and they become symbols of a new                                                      San Francisco, Calif.
                                    spirit. Mda thus creates a stark but spirited representation of
                                    post-apartheid life.                                               12-1-0020
                                        The Heart of Redness is more ambitious and denser with         Power, Susan. Roofwalker. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions,
                                    generally less vigorous writing. It interweaves dual plots.        2002. 224 pp. ISBN 1-57131-039-8, $20.00.
                                    Ingeniously, Mda uses twinning, both literally, especially
                                    for names, such as Twin and Twin-Twin, and figuratively,              In the title story from this collection, the Roofwalker is a
                                    as a thematic device. It is intriguing to sort out the mirrored    spirit that eats dreams, and when he finds one he really likes
                                    characters and events, but the modern story of Camagu will         he makes them come true. A young girl in Chicago learns
                                    most likely hold readers’ attention more than the earlier tale.    about the Roofwalker from her visiting Dakota grandmother.
                                    Camagu has returned with a Ph.D. after living 30 years in          Her father has left the family and her mother is struggling.

64
The grandmother comes to ground the young girl and to              Red Corn, Charles H. A Pipe for February. Norman: Univ.
remind her of her place in the world. The intergenerational        of Oklahoma Press, 2002. 272 pp. ISBN 0-8061-3454-2,
pattern of learning and transmitting cultural knowledge            $29.95.
from traditional homelands to urban settings is repeated in            American Indians from the time of first European con-
a number of variations in these splendid narratives. Power         tact have been subjected to the loss of culture, land, and
(Standing Rock Yanktonnai Dakota) has woven these 12               life through force of arms, deceptive treaties, and collusion
stories together with wonderfully lyric language and contem-       between white “overseers” and speculators. One of the most
porary experience informed by Sioux culture and history.           blatant examples of the last of these occurred in the 1920s
   The narratives have common threads and images such as           in Oklahoma when Indians “removed” to Indian Territory
abandonment, birthing, storytelling, beading, spirits, recov-      suddenly found themselves fabulously wealthy after oil was
ery, and survival. Power intertwines poetry and letters with       discovered on their lands. They also found themselves the
her exquisite prose. She introduces political issues, even trag-   target of greedy businessmen who attempted to acquire
edy, with humor and grace. One of her characters, a young          Indian land by any means—up to and including murder.
Indian student at Harvard, declares, “I am Dakota, and to              In this historical novel of the Osage in Oklahoma during
remain Indian in this world one must learn to accommodate          that era, John Grayeagle, the protagonist, is a young man
contradictions.” Power’s variety of characters face many con-      of artistic temperament who finds himself embroiled in a
tradictions in their relationships and experiences. They claim     fraudulent conspiracy involving his family and a hotel in
their dreams most often through their tribal sensibilities.        which he has a financial interest.
                                               — P. Jane Hafen         Though the mystery is somewhat compelling, the interest
                                     Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas    of the story is in its details of the Osage culture and its view
                                                                   of a unique time in American history when the Osage people
12-1-0021                                                          were caught between two worlds—the world of wealth and
Quintana, Leroy V. La Promesa and Other Stories.                   white ways and their own heritage. While the dialogue in
Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2002. 192 pp. ISBN 0-             the book is somewhat stilted and the character of Grayeagle
8061-3449-6, $24.95.                                               curiously detached, the book is a recommended addition to
                                                                   Native American fiction collections.
   Quintana’s worthy collection is set in New Mexico and                                                        — Andy J. Deering
in Vietnam during the time of U.S. military involvement.                                                   Central Wyoming College
Quintana, a Vietnam veteran, writes movingly of the moral
dilemmas facing soldiers in wartime and the psychic scarring
experienced by veterans on homecoming. But this author’s           12-1-0023
most effective narratives emerge from the deftly drawn             Rogers, Lawrence, ed. Tokyo Stories: A Literary Stroll.
characters in the fictionalized town of San Miguel, New            Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2002. 315 pp. Trans. from
Mexico. Weaving these stories together is an unforgettable         Japanese by Lawrence Rogers. ISBN 0-520-21786-1, $50.00
cast of characters, including La La La Chevalier, a widow who      (cl); 0-520-21788-8, $19.95 (pb).
miraculously scorches the image of her dead husband onto
a tortilla, and La Wedding Bells, a much-married woman                This unusual anthology is sure to be enjoyed by admirers
whose resurrection from death is a new doctor’s first success-     of Japanese literature. It is unusual in that, while it contains
ful case.                                                          the stories by the top writers of the twentieth century, such
   Quintana chronicles the other-ness resultant from living        as Yukio Mishima, Soseki Natsume, Yasunari Kawabata, and
in a time and place that mainstream America has overlooked.        Ryunosuke Akutagawa, it also includes writers of popular fic-
But underlying the quirky characters and the absurdities of        tion who are rarely translated. In fact, only two of the nearly
small town life in San Miguel are intimations of despair that      20 selections have been published previously in English. So
manifest in the few options perceived by the young men of          even most fans of Japanese fiction will be reading new stories
the pueblo—enlist or drink, or enlist, go to war, return, and      by their favorite authors.
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


drink. Quintana, a former alcoholism counselor, demon-                It is unusual also in that, as the title suggests, all the
strates keen apprehension of lives delimited by exclusion,         pieces are set in various parts of Tokyo. Further, the contents
trauma, and inevitably, alcohol abuse. The didactic in these       are geographically arranged. The stories represent various
stories is suggested rather than pronounced due to the mas-        styles and genres, from the I-novel, to proletariat literature,
tery of Quintana’s raucous and often hilarious prose.              to surrealist-magical fiction.
                                            — Lorraine López          Rogers, the editor and translator, gives introductions to
                                               Vanderbilt Univ.    each story that offer helpful background, and his 20-page
                                                                   introduction to the collection provides historical, geographi-
12-1-0022                                                          cal, and cultural information useful to those who are plan-




                                                                                                                                        65
                                    t continued fiction reviews

                                    ning to visit or who have visited Tokyo.                            as descriptions of a decaying Guatemala City paint a harsh
                                                                                     — Al Hikida        portrait of contemporary reality. The immigrants’ struggle
                                                                 Seattle Central Community College      to educate their children in the Jewish tradition, and the
                                    12-1-0024                                                           machinations of individual members of the community to
                                    Taibo, Paco Ignacio. Frontera Dreams. El Paso, Tex.: Cinco          achieve status and power, provide insight into a heretofore
                                    Puntos Press, 2002. 160 pp. Trans. from Spanish by Bill             neglected segment of Latin American society.
                                    Verner. ISBN 0-938317-58-X, $13.95 (pb).                                                                — Roberta Gordenstein
                                        This sixth detective novel in the Héctor Belascoarán                                           Elms College, Chicopee, Mass.
                                    Shayne series is smart and ironic in a detective novel way          12-1-0026
                                    that invokes—in an unspoken suggestion of philosophical             Wilkinson, Crystal. Water Street. New Milford, Conn.:
                                    undercurrents—Sartre’s absurd though transgressive curios-          Toby Press, 2002. 176 pp. ISBN 1-902881-59-1, $19.95.
                                    ity. The protagonist, who takes the lead from Chandler’s
                                    Christopher Marlowe more than Hammett’s Sam Spade,                     Wilkinson’s second novel is a collection of fictional sto-
                                    takes us on a border tour. From “stupid pseudo-Mexican              ries about people living in small-town Kentucky. This is a
                                    border patrol agents” with names like Jess Garcia who detain        town where children and adults feel safe and whites and
                                    individuals in their provincial kangaroo court hearings to          African Americans live together peacefully, where everyone
                                    “little Oaxacan” gardeners who leave the nonexistent dreams         attends church on Sunday and works hard the rest of the
                                    of the South and reside on the border looking for hope under        week, and where everyone has committed the list of kin
                                    the big blue Sonoran sky, from television producers’ ties with      to memory. Every character has at least two stories to tell,
                                    gringo drug traffickers who double as vigilante border agents       “One story that the light of day shines on; the other that
                                    to marijuana plantations that require an army of kidnapped          lives only in the pitch black of night.” At this point, the
                                    Zacatecan prostitutes to satisfy their 12,000 workers—it’s the      reader is introduced to the colorful characters and their lives
                                    protagonist’s will to know the absurd that moves the plot           on Water Street. We become acquainted with a middle-aged
                                    forward.                                                            black woman, Yolanda, and her friendship with Mona at a
                                        Besides being smart and ironic, the novel is nostalgic for      session with her psychiatrist. Mona, a woman of wealth but
                                    leftist politics as remembered in the protagonist’s fragment-       many regrets, reveals her thoughts during her gynecologi-
                                    ed recollection of Tlatelolco, the generation of ’68, and their     cal visit. Reverend Townsend, a 56-year-old virgin, has only
                                    present disunity and amnesia.                                       religion and his congregation to comfort him. Lois Carter,
                                        As for me, it made me nostalgic for a time in my own            a white woman married to a black man, lives a fine line
                                    adolescence when a detective novel came across as a great           between her heritage and a subtle envy of her black relatives
                                    read. Buy it, read it, and burn the pages—Taibo’s cool.             and friends.
                                                                                  — James C. Jupp          This is a cohesive collection that marks Wilkinson as
                                                            Austin (Tex.) Independent School District   a gifted observer of people and a talented writer. Water
                                                                                                        Street has strength in its characters, and the reader instantly
                                    12-1-0025                                                           becomes mesmerized by their stories and is reluctant to part
                                    Unger, David. Life in the Damn Tropics. Syracuse, N.Y.:             company with them.
                                    Syracuse Univ. Press, 2002. 301 pp. ISBN 0-8156-0737-7,                                                               — Dora Love
                                    $34.95.                                                                                                         San Francisco, Calif.

                                       Set against the backdrop of war-torn Guatemala in the            12-1-0027
                                    1980s, Unger’s compelling novel focuses on 53-year-old              Yamada, Teri Shaffer, ed. Virtual Lotus: Modern Fiction
                                    Marcos Eltaleph, a Jewish immigrant from Egypt, and his             of Southeast Asia. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press,
                                    extended family’s struggle to survive in an anti-Semitic soci-      2002. 332 pp. ISBN 0-472-09789-X, $65.00 (cl); 0-472-06789-
                                    ety. Caught between a corrupt president and a right-wing            3, $26.95 (pb).
                                    military on one hand and a leftist guerrilla insurgency on the
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    other, the Eltalephs are forced to bribe the ruling powers in          This anthology is the first collection to attempt a broad
                                    order to maintain their successful businesses and live as much      representation of the fiction from the complex geography
                                    of a Jewish life as is possible in a Catholic country. Through      of Southeast Asia. There are short stories from Burma (U
                                    the various crises, political unrest, bombings, and assassina-      Win Pe’s delightful satire, “Clear, Clear Water”), Cambodia,
                                    tions, Marcos examines his own life and attempts to come to         Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Negara Brunei Darussalam,
                                    terms with his abandonment of an illegitimate son and his           Singapore (Gopal Baratham’s engrossing “A Personal History
                                    tempestuous relationship with a young Colombian ex-prosti-          of an Island”), Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam (well-
                                    tute. Past and present sexual exploits form a large part of his     known writer Duong Thu Huong’s “The Story of an Actress”).
                                    thoughts and actions as he questions his value system.              Although the quality of the fiction is uneven—some stories
                                       Life in the Damn Tropics conveys a strong sense of place         seem sentimental and others formulaic—the volume is an
                                    at this turbulent period in Guatemalan history. Vivid               important one. It suggests the rich tradition of storytelling
                                    descriptions of the mistreatment of Mayan Indians as well           that survives war, censorship, and the gruesome hardships of

66
life in war-torn countries.                                           These two overtly self-revelatory books by Latino poets,
    What makes the book especially valuable is the editorial       while vastly different in style and tone, are highly per-
material accompanying the stories. Those of a particular           sonal meditations on their identities as writers that address
country are prefaced by a short but concise overview of that       notions of perception, perspective, and self-construction.
country’s literary traditions, as well as the necessary social     Both use references to masks, ritual, and role-playing in their
and political contexts. There is also detailed biographical        work, but with less pathological implications.
information on each writer. So many of these writers create           In Home Movies, the poet is at once on both sides of the
in climates where censorship and oppression exist; many            lens—a more contemporary take on the concept of “double-
of these stories are banned from publication in their home-        consciousness” explicated by W. E. B. Du Bois. The first
lands. The University of Michigan Press also provides an           section contains reflections on the author’s childhood—not
electronic guide for students and instructors that augments        the typical camera-conscious images of happy innocence,
the material of the anthology.                                     but commemorations of early steps on the road to knowl-
                                                 — Ed Ifkovic      edge. In the second section, characters often take on various
                 Tunxis Community College, Farmington, Conn.       roles in acting out scenarios conjured by the poet. The third
                                                                   section, comprised of Arroyo’s wonderfully conceived and
12-1-0028                                                          executed Ponce de Leon poems, is a contemplation on the
Yi In-hwa. Everlasting Empire. Norwalk, Conn.: EastBridge,         poet’s responsibility to history: the ghost of a conquistador
2002. 300 pp. Trans. from Korean by Yu Young-nan. ISBN 1-          hungry for commemoration as a hero competes with the
891936-15-8, $28.95 (cl); 1-891936-02-6, $18.95 (pb).              voices of the vanquished Taínos and abducted African slaves
                                                                   for Arroyo’s attention. The book concludes with “The Black
   An engaging historical novel is an asset to any course          Moon Poems,” which could collectively be described as a film
devoted to an instruction of cultural trends and values.           noir-style portrait of the poet as aging insomniac with cat.
Everlasting Empire is an effective tool for teaching Korean           The poems are incisive yet charming, at various times pen-
history and culture.                                               sive, despairing, or poignant, and sometimes surreal. Home
   Yi’s work is equal parts late dynastic Korean history,          Movies evokes Narcissus, not as a self-absorbed amateur with
traditional Korean values, and universal mystery, packaged         a camera but as an accomplished and insightful artist.
within the frame story of a discovery of a nineteenth-cen-            While Arroyo’s stream of consciousness flows through
tury manuscript. The narrative style will appeal to Advanced       a solitary Midwestern mindscape, Herrera’s fiery canción
Placement high school students and college students alike,         echoes through the streets of a densely populated com-
and the treatment of Korean politics and consequences from         munity, forging an ironclad bond among family, friends,
150 years ago provides enough substance for the same target        artists, activists, and writers. Beginning with a healing, a
audience to digest in a class of world literature or world cul-    cleansing, and a sort of invocation, Notebooks is part photo
tures.                                                             album, part street ballad, and part recipe book—a scintillat-
   Korea is sometimes overshadowed by Japan and China in           ing melange of incantations and impersonations, dichos and
the arenas of literature and history studies. Everlating Empire    diatribes, cuentas y corridos, koans and sutras, conversations
brings to life one of the most dynamic times in Korea’s his-       and monologues, ruminations and retratos, snapshots and
tory—a time when its interaction with the Western world            journal entries, instructions on how to do something, direc-
was beginning and its dynasties were in their last days. This      tions on how to get somewhere, lists, letters, limpias, and
novel is valuable not only as a historical tool but also as an     love poems—a celebration of selfhood and community.
educational resource that provides a view of what Korea was           Notebooks includes a litany for the late muralist and writer
before being shaped by its twentieth-century conflicts with        José Antonio Burciaga and a memorial for the New Mexican
Asian powers and the Western world, ultimately becoming a          poet and storyteller Jim Sagel, as well as a pair of pastoral
peninsula divided.                                                 parodies and screenplays for a “Hispanic” game show and
                                       — Donald E. Landrum         three sitcoms. But really, Herrera and Arroyo start and end
                                       Gainesville College (Ga.)   on the same blue note. This is about being a Latino with
                                                                                                                                     MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


                                                                   too many things to say, about hunger and pain, about face
Poetry                                                             masks and word masks, about providing clues to the clueless
                                                                   and voices for the voiceless.
12-1-0029                                                                                                           — Lori Tsang
Arroyo, Rané. Home Movies of Narcissus. Tucson: Univ.                                                           Washington, D.C.
of Arizona Press, 2002. 75 pp. ISBN 0-8165-2195-6, $14.95
(pb).                                                              12-1-0030
                                                                   Castillo, Sandra M. My Father Sings to My Embarrassment.
Herrera, Juan Felipe. Notebooks of a Chile Verde                   Buffalo, N.Y.: White Pine Press, 2002. 93 pp. ISBN 1-893996-
Smuggler. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 2002. 210 pp.            52-2, $14.00 (pb).
ISBN 0-8165-2215-4, $17.95 (pb).
                                                                     Cuban-American scholar Pamela M. Smarkoloff has stated

                                                                                                                                       67
                                    t continued poetry reviews

                                    that writers from the Caribbean are defined by history and          borders.
                                    geography. Castillo is one of those writers. She was born in            Reversible Monuments is a valuable contribution to world
                                    Cuba shortly after Castro took over the government and fled         literature. This anthology is an excellent source for academic
                                    to the United States with her family in 1970. Twenty-four           libraries and for courses in Mexican and Latin American lit-
                                    years later, she returned to the island, visited her old neigh-     erature, as well as for students of literature in translation and
                                    borhood, and spent time with her relatives. It was a turning        for general readers of contemporary poetry.
                                    point in her life, and from that experience came the poems                                                          — Alva V. Cellini
                                    that make up this volume.                                                                                       St. Bonaventure Univ.
                                       The book is part history, part autobiography. The first          12-1-0032
                                    section recounts Castro’s victory over the dictatorship of          Ríos, Alberto. The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body.
                                    Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and echoes the hopes of those             Port Townsend, Wash.: Copper Canyon Press, 2002. 110 pp.
                                    who wanted to see Havana free from corrupt politicians and          ISBN 1-55659-173-X, $14.00 (pb).
                                    American gangsters. The last section is an inventory of the             These days, maybe you scrambled through a hole under
                                    atrocities committed by the current regime. Looming large           a fence. But before, you could have been strolling down
                                    and legendary is Ernesto “Che” Guevara, whom the poet               a street. And before that, maybe you stayed still but were
                                    sees as a symbol of the revolutionary struggle, a defeated and      overtaken by some signatures and an exchange of money.
                                    betrayed idealist who, according to Castillo, renounced his         “In this light,” says Ríos, “You are not where you were but
                                    Cuban citizenship before his death in the jungles of Bolivia.       you have not moved.”
                                    The autobiographical poems tell of Castillo’s sense of loss in          With The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, Ríos takes
                                    the United States, her yearnings for the familiar geography         us back to pre-NAFTA Nogales, overlapping time and space,
                                    of her island, and her return to Cuba, a place of childhood         history and memory, and challenging the arbitrariness of
                                    memories that no longer exists.                                     definitions and even of language. One moment you are in
                                       Castillo writes in a flowing, easy style that makes her          Mexico, in the next the United States.
                                    thoughts as clear as the Caribbean, writing passages in                 These poems reveal what is perceived but unseen—the
                                    Spanish, purposely code-switching as if to reaffirm her con-        inner crevices of the body, mind, heart—wants and desires
                                    nection with her Cuban origins. Castillo is caught between          crouching in the shadows now coaxed into light. They are
                                    two maps, two worlds: Cuba and Miami. She is caught                 playful, erotic, and charming, yet visceral, muscular, and
                                    between two decades: the nostalgic Cuba of 1959 and the             sometimes surreal, employing unlikely metaphors and incon-
                                    impoverished island of the 1990s.                                   gruous associations that make perfect sense.
                                                                            — Danilo H. Figueredo           Actually, what happens in these poems is not so much rev-
                                                                          Bloomfield College Library    elation as recognition. Escuche el pulso del cuerpo. A boy trans-
                                                                                                        mogrifies into a bird. A bird transmogrifies into an orange.
                                    12-1-0031                                                           A man becomes a dog, which becomes a coyote. Experience
                                    De la Torre, Mónica and Wiegers, Michael, eds. Reversible           transforms itself into knowledge, and then wisdom.
                                    Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry. Port                                                                            — Lori Tsang
                                    Townsend, Wash.: Copper Canyon Press, 2002. 696 pp. Bilingual                                                       Washington, D.C.
                                    (Spanish-English) ed. ISBN 1-55659-159-4, $20.00 (pb).
                                                                                                        12-1-0033
                                       This collection of nearly 200 distinguished Mexican              Saldaña, Excilia. In the Vortex of the Cyclone: Selected
                                    poems written by 31 highly esteemed poets born in the last          Poems by Excilia Saldaña. Gainesville: Univ. Press of
                                    half century is particularly appealing due to the variety of        Florida, 2002. 128 pp. Trans. from Spanish and edited by
                                    Mexican cultural topics that reflect different periods, loca-       Flora González Mandri and Rosamond Rosenmeier. Bilingual
                                    tions, and experiences from the historical past to modern           (Spanish-English) ed. ISBN 0-8130-2459-5, $34.95.
                                    Mexican society. The poems, written in Spanish as well as
                                    in several indigenous languages, are presented with English         Suárez, Virgil. Guide to the Blue Tongue. Champaign:
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    translations on facing pages. Readers will be captured by the       Univ. of Illinois Press, 2002. 75 pp. ISBN 0-252-02734-5,
                                    multicultural voices, images, and metaphors, together with          $35.00 (cl); 0-252-07050-X, $13.95 (pb).
                                    the unique and innovative verse forms, styles, and aesthetic
                                    patterns. The poems reflect the spirit of the poets and touch           Two books of poetry by two Cuban authors, but with a
                                    one’s innermost feelings.                                           difference: One was written by a Cuban who lives in the
                                       The English translators transmit the images, rhetorical ele-     United States while the other was penned by a poet who
                                    ments, poetic language, and tone of the original language,          stayed on the island. And as many readers know, such geo-
                                    preserving skillfully the intent of the original compositions.      graphical, cultural, and political considerations do shape the
                                    The introduction educates the reader to an appreciation of          literature produced by writers from Cuba.
                                    Mexican poetry in general, and to these new poets and their             Guide to the Blue Tongue is a meditation on Shakespeare and
                                    lyrical artistry, by highlighting cross-cultural literary differ-   The Tempest. The narrators of these poems are Prospero and
                                    ences necessary for appreciating poetic art across linguistic       Caliban, ancient icons of exile and displacement. Prospero

68
longs for his youth and his home. Writes exile Suárez, “at         In “Like a Cheetah. Nature Poem,” the poet writes, “Like a
night he sighs/and curses the darkness. By candlelight he          panther he stalked her./Meaning: the jungle beneath her
reads/his ancient texts, tries to find order in the minute/the     belly” by “the light of fireflies called nipples.”
mundane.” Caliban longs for Prospero’s daughter: “Caliban             The backdrop of the poetry is today’s bubbling and boil-
each morning…walks around the house to a bedroom win-              ing, hybrid Israel. Someck makes references to his Sephardi
dow,/watches Miranda sleep or linger in front of her/vanity        roots in Iraq and to the Arab and Israeli tensions. His work,
smoothing silken hair, her divine face moon-/like on the           however, never falls into political argumentation and finger
mirror, and he feels himself/crumble, piece by piece.” Each        pointing but calls forth the irony of the lamentable chasm
man desires what is beyond his reach, a condition so well          separating “normal” expectations and the grim reality of the
known to the Cubans who live in exile, Cubans who long             current political situation.
for pre-Castro Cuba.                                                                                            — Daniel Grossberg
   Saldaña experiences a different pain: that of racism and                                       State Univ. of New York at Albany
machismo. In the Vortex of the Cyclone celebrates her African
ancestry, recalling the oppression visited on the African          12-1-0035
slaves uprooted from their homes and brought to Cuba               Tabios, Eileen R. Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole:
to labor and die in chains during colonial times. She also         Poems. New York: Marsh Hawk Press, 2002. 124 pp. ISBN
affirms her womanhood, speaking freely of the act of mak-          0-9713332-8-9, $12.95 (pb).
ing love and the act of choosing when to make love and with
whom, something often denied to women in Latin America,               In her debut collection of poetry for an American audi-
where the society at large is still male-driven and focused.       ence, Philippine National Book Award winner Tabios explores
She writes: “your hands traverse the repeated unison of my         a panoply of topics including cyberspace, blind dates, an
breasts/And your hands traverse the brown naiveté of my            investment banker, Latin, adultery, the poet Phrynichos, and
breasts/And your hands simply traverse my breasts/And they         an empty flagpole. While poetry enthusiasts in this country
touch/They feel.”                                                  know of Tabios’s work from reading American publications,
   Suárez’s poetry is fast-moving, short, and to the point,        this is the first book ever in America that showcases her
like an MTV video. Saldaña’s poems are long and intricate,         work exclusively. In 63 poems, the Filipina artist displays her
beginning slowly and then rushing on to a climax, some-            prowess, her knack for documenting the subtle nuances of all
thing like a Caribbean hurricane. Suárez seems to have been        sensory descriptions, and her wit for metaphoric expression
influenced by writers like Allan Ginsberg and William Carlos       that only a talented poet can convey.
Williams. Saldaña, on the other hand, calls Nicolás Guillén           While some ethnic writers choose to limit their focus,
and Nancy Morejón, poets who popularized Afro-Cuban                Tabios casts a broad net. In one section of Reproductions she
themes in Cuban poetry, her mentors. Suárez longs for a            ruminates about an aspect of Greek art. In another she pon-
Cuba that was. Saldaña longs for a Cuba that never was.            ders various icons of Philippine colonization, including the so-
                                        — Danilo H. Figueredo      called “Borrowed Tongue,” a term for American English often
                                      Bloomfield College Library   used by native-born Filipinos, and the Balikbayan—Filipinos
                                                                   from overseas who return to visit the Philippines. And in
12-1-0034                                                          other sections, she recounts her experiences as a woman living
Someck, Ronny. The Fire Stays in Red: Poems. Madison:              in New York City. Because of the breadth of topics explored
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002. 130 pp. Trans. from Hebrew         here, this volume is recommended for poetry readers at all
by Moshe Dor and Barbara Goldberg. Co-published with               levels—whether discerning aficionados or novices.
Dryad Press. ISBN 0-299-17900-1, $24.95 (cl); 0-299-17904-4,                                                         — Sam Cacas
$15.95 (pb).                                                                                                   San Francisco, Calif.

   This bilingual edition, with English and Hebrew on facing       12-1-0036
pages, features an excellent translation by Dor and Goldberg       Taube, Herman. Looking Back, Going Forward: New
                                                                                                                                       MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


that captures Someck’s shocking and arresting use of lan-          and Selected Poems. Takoma Park, Md.: Dryad Press,
guage. The slangy, contemporary tone suffuses the English          2002. 160 pp. ISBN 1-928755-03-8, $16.95 (pb).
and Hebrew alike.
   Someck’s power is in his rapidly shifting imagery. He              This work is a passionate evocation of the Holocaust.
draws from vastly disparate semantic fields and sense              Whether by design or by inability to remain silent, Taube
domains within the work as a whole and within single               keeps the memory of the painful years alive within each of
poems. Fire, King Saul, Martin Buber, traffic signals, electric    his poems. The title of the work is not so much an expres-
wires, and a crop duster’s acrobatics, for example, sit side by    sion of two discrete actions or options as it is Taube’s expres-
side in the brief eight lines of the poem, “The Fire Stays in      sion of inseparably linked exigencies of life.
Red.” Moreover, Someck exhibits a penchant for the lusty,             Amidst the abundant brutality and bitter experiences of
earthy, and erotic within his kaleidoscopic representations.       which Taube writes, a kindness and a warmth frequently sur-



                                                                                                                                         69
                                    t continued folklore and criticism reviews

                                    face. In a poem ironically entitled “Competition,” in which         1, $49.50 (cl); 0-8047-3040-5, $21.95 (pb).
                                    jealousy, hunger, sickness, and starvation mark most of the
                                    work, humanity and good will shine forth in the end.                    In this collection of essays, noted scholars such as Werner
                                       In the section entitled “Meditations,” Taube treats the          Sollors, Hertha D. Sweet Wong, and Patricia Riley provide
                                    reader to a miscellany of penetrating reflections on the writ-      a critical foundation for a reconstruction of literary value
                                    er’s life. For example, he confesses his inner struggle: “I don’t   that crosses the border between multicultural American
                                    feel adequate enough to express/my thoughts in the English          literatures and traditional American literature. In his intro-
                                    language./I am still under the spell of Yiddish Which/is con-       duction, Brennan argues that American literatures very often
                                    cealed deep in my heart and mind.” He also writes of the            cannot be contained within one ethnic “corral.” Riley sup-
                                    joys of the poet, “The excitement of writing poetry is a feel-      ports this assertion by writing, “The American public has
                                    ing of happiness when one makes an unexpected discovery.”           not a few preconceived notions about Indians, and they
                                    Lines like these remain in the mind of the reader long after        would generally prefer not to have these images disrupted.”
                                    the book is closed.                                                 However, Native American authors of mixed blood heritage,
                                                                                — Daniel Grossberg      like Leslie Marmon Silko, often do disrupt Native American
                                                                  State Univ. of New York at Albany     stereotypes in literature by producing work that observes the
                                    Folklore                                                            traditions of both Native American storytelling and Western
                                                                                                        European literary expression. This movement between eth-
                                    12-1-0037                                                           nic “corrals” writes outside of “established racial categories
                                    Mindlin, Betty and indigenous storytellers. Barbecued               [and refuses to support] the strong hold they maintain over
                                    Husbands: And Other Stories from the Amazon. New                    most Americans.”
                                    York: Verso, 2002. 310 pp. ISBN 1-85984-681-5, $21.00.                  The essays provide critical affirmation of literary work
                                                                                                        that refuses to be “corralled,” and in so doing, provide a text
                                       This work brings together several dozen short narra-             that will become a useful component of American literature
                                    tives from six indigenous cultures in the Brazilian state of        classrooms.
                                    Rondônia. Anthropologist Mindlin transcribed the tales to                                                       — Lesliee Antonette
                                    Portuguese from oral delivery primarily in the native lan-                                     East Stroudsburg Univ. of Pennsylvania
                                    guages of the narrators—Macurap, Tupari, Ajuru, Jabuti,
                                    Arikapu, Aruá—and the Portuguese is here translated to              12-1-0039
                                    English. This volume is one of a series of narrative antholo-       González, Ray. The Underground Heart: A Return to a
                                    gies she has compiled.                                              Hidden Landscape. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 2002.
                                       The importance of this book is that it preserves the last        170 pp. ISBN 0-8165-2032-1, $35.00 (cl); 0-8165-2034-8,
                                    native transmission of these narrative cultures. Most of            $17.95 (pb).
                                    these native languages have hardly a half dozen speakers
                                    remaining. The common theme of these tales is love and                 González contemplates his return to the Southwest after
                                    conflict between the sexes, and there is much frankness in          a 20-year absence, using the essay form for exercises in
                                    the recounting of sexual and other intimate details. There is       thought experiment that blur the line between insider and
                                    much of maidens and hunters, wise or conniving animals,             outsider reporting in a sort of critical tourism that challenges
                                    in-laws, floating heads, physical abnormalities, and the            “official versions” of history. To the degree that the official
                                    like. The book concludes with several instructive sections: a       versions of history González critiques merit attention, his
                                    critique of the mythology of the tales, profiles of the indige-     essays are intriguing, generative, and incisive.
                                    nous narrators, an examination of the state of the languages           One representative essay is “The Walls of San Antonio.”
                                    and cultures, and a glossary of the languages.                      It critiques the high-dollar investment in tourism made by
                                       The brevity and layers of narrative status (oral to written      San Antonio as shown in the River Walk, Mission Trail, and
                                    to edited) and of translating (from indigenous language to          the Cultural Arts Center by identifying mestizaje—the blend-
                                    Portuguese to English) have given the vignettes a homog-            ing-of-cultures theme in San Antonio’s touristic “heritage”
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    enized quality. Nonetheless, Claude Lévi-Strauss has com-           that also parallels the dominant understanding of Latin
                                    mented that the book is “an impressive collection that will         American culture in Central and South America—as con-
                                    rank among the great classics of Amerindian mythology.”             servative and backed by elite social interests. This mestizo
                                                                          — Edward A. Riedinger         heritage, González argues insightfully, is but a distraction
                                                                         Ohio State Univ. Libraries     from the worst neighborhoods in the Southwest where gang
                                                                                                        violence, poverty, and inequality represent the norm instead
                                    Criticism                                                           of a quaint blending of cultures.
                                                                                                           When the official versions of history that González
                                    12-1-0038                                                           chooses to critique are some of the mom-and-pop low-bud-
                                    Brennan, Jonathan, ed. Mixed Race Literature. Stanford,             get variety of museums found all over the Southwest, his
                                    Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 2002. 234 pp. ISBN 0-8047-3639-       essays become tedious. Nonetheless, the volume is worth the


70
read for “The Walls of San Antonio” alone.                         of expression, varying from nineteenth-century slave and
                                             — James C. Jupp       travel narratives, to an autobiographical novel, to a late-
                       Austin (Tex.) Independent School District   twentieth-century AIDS elegy, among others. All of these
                                                                   styles of autobiography show evidence of familiar Caribbean
                                                                   themes such as race, identity, migration, alienation, and
12-1-0040                                                          death. Especially compelling is the fact that at least half
McAlister, Elizabeth. Rara! Vodou, Power, and                      of the writings were the product of black, East Indian, and
Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora. Berkeley: Univ.             white women from a variety of classes and backgrounds.
of California Press, 2002. 260 pp. Includes 24-track CD. ISBN         Although Paquet at times analyzes the autobiography of
0-520-22822-7, $60.00 (cl); 0-520-22823-5, $24.95 (pb).            one author in depth, she often compares and contrasts the
                                                                   works of two writers. Except for certain somewhat ponder-
   Wesleyan religion professor McAlister spent years study-        ous introductory chapters, the book is written in a clear and
ing Rara, a series of Lenten musical parades that take place       straightforward style.
annually in Haiti, and its diaspora. This book, which is                                                   — Jayne R. Boisvert
accompanied by a compact disc, presents the results of her                                                   Russell Sage College
examination of these popular public festivals, little known        12-1-0042
or understood by outside observers.                                Pavlic, Edward M. Crossroads Modernism: Descent and
   McAlister first explains that Rara originated among             Emergence in African-American Literary Culture.
repressed members of Haitian society: the peasant classes          Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2002. 368 pp. ISBN
and the urban poor. The family members and neighbors               0-8166-3891-8, $54.95 (cl); 0-8166-3892-6, $19.95 (pb).
who comprise the various Rara bands combine both Carnival
play and the serious religious work of Vodou. Certain vulgar,         Pavlic “explores the ways in which major African-American
so-called betiz (or “foolishness”) songs are polysemic and at      writers have negotiated [the] complex terrain [of American
times contain satirical political and social commentary that       and European Modernism].” In this work, he argues that there
might be considered treasonous if communicated in any              has been a false distinction made, in American literary studies,
other form. A symbolic progression from the home to the            between the creative visions of twentieth-century black artists
crossroads and finally to the cemetery enables the Raras to        and the principles of modernism.
perform religious rituals. McAlister goes on to describe the          Pavlic brings together some of the more complex art and
origins of the remarkable association of Rara participants         artists of the African-American tradition with the critical
with the Jews, and their divisions into elaborate military         history of the Modernist movement in both Europe and
hierarchies within the groups. A final chapter deals with the      America. He explores the work of Ellison, Hurston, and
American form of Rara and its connection with Rastafarian          Baldwin, among others, in order to illuminate the ways in
and hip-hop music.                                                 which these African-American authors can be read as “Afro-
   This is a very informative, well-researched, and well-writ-     Modern” authors. This complicated effort brings together
ten study with a helpful, though modest, glossary at the           the most serpentine philosophy of Europe with a complex
end of the text. Anyone interested in understanding Haitian        understanding of West African cultural influence on African-
culture will discover a wealth of information in this book.        American authors. The effort is worth the read. This is a valu-
                                          — Jayne R. Boisvert      able reference text for anyone interested in expanding his or
                                            Russell Sage College   her understanding of the American literary tradition.
                                                                                                              — Lesliee Antonette
12-1-0041                                                                                    East Stroudsburg Univ. of Pennsylvania
Paquet, Sandra Pouchet. Caribbean Autobiography:
Cultural Identity and Self-Representation. Madison:                Visual and Performing Arts
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002. 345 pp. ISBN 0-299-17690-8,
$60.00 (cl); 0-299-17694-0, $24.95 (pb).                           12-1-0043
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


                                                                   Browner, Tara. Heartbeat of the People: Music and
   This innovative examination of autobiography breaks             Dance of the Northern Powwow. Champaign: Univ. of
new ground in Caribbean scholarship. A professor of English        Illinois Press, 2002. 170 pp. ISBN 0-252-02714-0, $29.95.
at the University of Miami, Paquet has analyzed a diverse
selection of autobiographical forms by over a dozen authors            One of the most important unifying elements of North
from different Anglophone countries of the region.                 American Indians is the powwow—a melding of traditional
   The volume explores writers as disparate as slaves and          ceremonies, social interaction, and entertainment. Yet despite
free blacks from the colonial period, like the Hart sisters,       its importance, the origins, traditions, and evolution of the
Mary Prince, and Mrs. Seacole, to living authors, like Jamaica     powwow are obscure. Browner goes a long way toward clari-
Kincaid and recent Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul. The authors’      fying the powwow tradition and its contemporary practice.
diversity manifests itself in multifaceted and dynamic modes       She begins with a general introduction to the powwow and



                                                                                                                                        71
                                    t continued visual & performing arts reviews

                                    an explanation of different theories and methodologies used        stood in Seattle’s prewar Nihonmachi or Japantown. It’s not
                                    in her own, and other, studies. Next, she examines of the          too surprising that this book, published by the Seattle Arts
                                    origins of the powwow, which include ceremonies of specific        Commission, has a strong focus on the Seattle area, but it
                                    tribes, intertribal gatherings, and even the “wild west” shows     also covers Japantowns in California.
                                    of the late nineteenth century. She analyzes specific dances          This attractive little book, rich in historical photos on
                                    that make up the powwow and includes alternative theories          quality paper, gives histories, including oral histories, of
                                    of their origins. She explores the structure and function of       not only Japantowns but also other places important to
                                    contemporary powwows, then further illuminates the mean-           Japanese-American heritage. Included are chapters on a
                                    ing of the powwow through interviews with participants.            Northwest lumber town (about a quarter of the residents
                                        Heartbeat of the People succeeds in emphasizing the pow-       were Japanese immigrant families who lived in a segregated
                                    wow as an important practical and symbolic cohesive element        section), a Buddhist temple, a Japanese dry-goods store, and
                                    in modern Native American life. It is an important addition        a bowling alley. The book not only tells the stories of those
                                    to the literature on this topic. Highly recommended.               specific places but also provides a general history of Japanese
                                                                                — Andy J. Deering      in America, including immigration, the wartime internment
                                                                           Central Wyoming College     and the postwar periods of assimilation, and trying to pre-
                                    12-1-0044                                                          serve cultural identity.
                                    Collins, Lisa Gail. The Art of History: African American              Dubrow, a professor of architecture and urban planning
                                    Women Artists Engage the Past. Piscataway, N.J.: Rutgers           at the University of Washington, gives credit to the other
                                    Univ. Press, 2002. 224 pp. Illus. ISBN 0-8135-3021-0, $60.00       contributors as well as a host of community sources, includ-
                                    (cl); 0-8135-3022-9, $26.00 (pb).                                  ing Seattle City Light and the Seattle Arts Commission,
                                                                                                       which provided major financial support.
                                        In her quest to discover reasons for the scarcity of art          Rather than being an eccentric work with narrow appeal,
                                    historical narratives of black art, Collins notes a paradox in     this should be of interest to students of Japanese-American
                                    African-American intellectual discourse. Although “there is        history and culture as well as Northwest and California his-
                                    a concern with visual culture,” it is “matched by a lack of        tory. Finally, it is a strong example of a practical collabora-
                                    interest in the work of black visual artists,” while music,        tion between scholars and public and private foundations.
                                    literature, and drama are fully examined.                                                                             — Al Hikida
                                        Moreover, the neglect of the plastic arts has a long histo-                                  Seattle Central Community College
                                    ry. Collins cites the questionnaire in the February 1926 issue
                                    of The Crisis, edited by W. E. B. Du Bois, titled “The Negro       12-1-0046
                                    in Art: How Shall He Be Portrayed.” Of the 22 responses, not       Finckenstein, Maria von, ed. Nuvisavik: The Place Where
                                    one was from a person working in the visual arts. The Black        We Weave. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 216
                                    Arts 1969 manifesto, while extolling the role of art in lib-       pp. Illus. ISBN 0-295-98201-2, $35.00 (pb).
                                    eration struggles, avoided discussion of plastic art or artists.
                                    The arts noted were music, poetry, and literature. In 1987            Von Finckenstein draws together articles that document
                                    Du Bois’s questionnaire was reprinted in Black American            the modern development of tapestries as an Inuit art form.
                                    Literature Forum. The printed responses were again from liter-     They show the progress of a social development project in
                                    ary figures only.                                                  the 1960s that brought Canada’s largest hand-weaving firm
                                        This complex scholarly study attempts to change the dis-       together with the superb embroidery and sewing skills of the
                                    course by examining the historical portrayal of black people,      Inuit women. The project began with amauti sashes, which
                                    especially women, from the early nineteenth century to the         injected color into everyday life and into royal occasions
                                    present. The women artists Collins chose are photographers,        such as when the Queen of England and her family were
                                    painters, sculptors, and filmmakers. They have used pseu-          presented with special sashes. These bursts of color evolved
                                    doscientific images of a racist past to inform their current       into tapestries that documented domestic scenes and then
                                    work, images of black women. An important, serious work,           tapped into the mythology of the land to provide scenes that
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    it belongs in college and university libraries.                    depicted culture, environment, and history in individual
                                                                           — Betty Kaplan Gubert       productions or “editions” of 10 or 20 or more.
                                                                                    New York, N.Y.        This volume traces the people who participated in the
                                                                                                       work of the project, the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio, recre-
                                    12-1-0045                                                          ating a 30-year journey through the voices of the weavers,
                                    Dubrow, Gail, with Donna Graves. Sento at Sixth and                designers, curators, and managers. The articles by various
                                    Main: Preserving Landmarks of Japanese American                    experts are richly informative and give the reader insight into
                                    Heritage. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 232 pp.        Inuit values and beliefs. Each delightful tapestry is accompa-
                                    Illus. with photos. ISBN 0-295-98245-4, $19.95 (pb).               nied by photos of the artist and full catalogue information.
                                                                                                                                 — Marlene Atleo (Nuu-chah-nulth)
                                       The title refers to the old public bathhouse that once                                                          Nanaimo, B.C.


72
                                                                     The individual photographic plates, exquisitely printed,
12-1-0047                                                         reveal the remarkable dignity of the human spirit in a people
Grimes, John R.; Feest, Christian F.; and Curran, Mary Lou.       who, already having endured the scourges of slavery, were
Uncommon Legacies: Native American Art from the                   now thrust into a reality of renewed humiliations and deg-
Peabody Essex Museum. Seattle: Univ. of Washington                radations based solely on racial identity. A series of well-writ-
Press, 2002. 272 pp. Illus. ISBN 0-295-98240-3, $60.00.           ten essays provides crucial context and history to the period
                                                                  in which these compelling images were made.
   This is surely one of the most beautiful and scholarly cata-      In our supposedly enlightened times, it is essential that we
logues ever published. It pictures the first comprehensive        get to know these individual African Americans who bravely
exhibition of the Peabody Essex Museum’s collection of early      endured what no human should, and yet through their cour-
Native American art. The museum, in Salem, Massachusetts,         age, tenacity, and grace, eventually ennobled us all.
may have the nation’s oldest ongoing collection of such art.                                                     — John Caputo
Founded in 1799, the museum’s history is told engagingly.                                                             Siena College
Collected as ethnic artifacts or “curiosities,” the eighteenth
century’s term for “an object of wondrous quality, meriting
appreciation and study,” they became objects of surpassing        12-1-0049
artistic worth.                                                   Korall, Burt. Drummin’ Men—The Heartbeat of Jazz:
   The works are highlighted one or two to a page, are most-      The Bebop Years. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002. 306
ly in color, and are accompanied by a scholarly description.      pp. ISBN 0-19-514812-6, $35.00.
The different traditions and artistic conventions of the peo-
ples of the Southeast, Pacific Coast, Northwest, and South           The set drummer played a crucial role within bebop jazz
America, among others, are represented. A small number of         music, the mid-twentieth century style that followed the big
works from European collections are included, testifying to       band era of World War II and preceded the fusion of rock
the powerful appeal that Native American cultures have had.       with jazz. This period was characterized by atonality, com-
Extraordinary creative invention is shown in the beadwork         bined with basic harmony, and freedoms in rhythm as well
on belts, moccasins, and cradle wrappings; in the designs of      as melody. The volume’s cover features a model drummer
basketry and blankets; and in the variety of materials used.      playing a mounted tom-tom.
Besides shells, leather, wood, argillite, and plant fiber, sea       The book’s strengths are its biographical sketches and
lion intestine and esophagus were used to make waterproof         the tracing of the development of the drum set. The author
coats and shirts, which were then embroidered.                    practices jazz drumming himself and has written for the
   With a bibliography and a glossary of tribal names, this       New York Times. Terminology in this well-written book is
exceptional publication is a valued addition to academic and      standard, evincing the author’s familiarity with the subject.
public libraries.                                                 Biographees include Max Roach, Jo Jones, Shelly Manne,
                                       — Betty Kaplan Gubert      and Ed Shaughnessy, among others. The title Drummin’ Men
                                                New York, N.Y.    makes it clear that women in the bebop era were usually not
                                                                  set drummers. Times have changed.
12-1-0048                                                                                                      — Geary Larrick
Johnson, Thomas L. and Root, Nina J., eds. Camera                                                            Stevens Point, Wis.
Man’s Journey: Julian Dimock’s South. Athens: Univ.
of Georgia Press, 2002. 191 pp. Illus. with photos. ISBN 0-       12-1-0050
8203-2424-8, $39.95.                                              Massood, Paula J. Black City Cinema: African American
                                                                  Urban Experiences in Film. Philadelphia: Temple Univ.
    These powerful glimpses into the reality of a South one       Press, 2003. 272 pp. ISBN 1-59213-002-X, $69.50 (cl); 1-
hundred years removed in time are a stunning and pro-             59213-003-8, $19.95 (pb).
vocative anachronism alerting us to a profoundly moving
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


chapter of human history that far too often is ignored by the        Massood masterfully explores the cinematic use and char-
nation with which it is forever bound.                            acterization of metropolitan spaces in this chronology of
    It is tempting to accept Camera Man’s Journey as a visu-      African-American film. Skillfully, she analyzes urban visual
ally beautiful evocation of the African-American experience       and aural iconography in broader socioeconomic, political,
in the South Carolina of the early 1900s, one that reflects       and industrial contexts. Her approach is both comprehensive
the earnest neutrality of an emerging photographic anthro-        and diverse as she includes films ranging from Cabin in the
pology as seen through the camera lens of an empathetic           Sky and Stormy Weather to Down in the Delta and Bamboozled.
Caucasian from the North. That would be a grave mistake,          Not only does Massood have a complex understanding of
for this is an important book, one that deserves serious          film theory and production, but she is also well versed in
attention and reflection far beyond the limited geographic        U.S. history and does an apt job of communicating many of
and sociological scope with which it so gently presents           her understandings to her readers.
itself.                                                              While I found the author’s insights refreshing and became

                                                                                                                                        73
                                    tcontinued reviews

                                    totally engaged with the text, I questioned the book’s mas-        was arrested for antifascist activities and spent a year in
                                    culinist focus. The work of male filmmakers generally, and         Auschwitz, from 1944 to 1945. He survived the death camp
                                    Spike Lee in particular, appear predominant. Whereas I real-       only because of his training as a chemist and his obsession
                                    ize Lee’s significant impact on black cinema, approximately        with being a witness. His intense wish to understand and
                                    three of the book’s eight chapters focus on Lee’s work. In         his curiosity as a scientist fixed in him the idea that he must
                                    fairness to Massood, there were references to some female          survive to tell the world what he had seen.
                                    directors and some films with female protagonists. Yet much            Angier’s book is a gripping narrative that tracks Levi’s life,
                                    of the book focused on exploring the ways in which black           from a childhood in which he was often unnoticed or despised
                                    masculinity (situated in the United States in this instance)       by his peers through his shocking plunge down the stairwell
                                    has been constructed through black film.                           in his home (ruled a suicide) in 1987. Despite the length of
                                       One tangential point: A glossary or quick reference guide       the book, the author keeps hold of the reader throughout. She
                                    would have been very helpful, as the author uses very com-         recounts interviews (some secret) with Levi’s most intimate
                                    plex terms and concepts.                                           friends, examines the psychological nature of his relationships,
                                                                           — Dierdre Glenn Paul        and reveals Levi’s inner conflicts and emotions, including his
                                                                             Montclair State Univ.     intense reserve, fear of women, and need for people—particu-
                                                                                                       larly himself—to be morally beyond reproach.
                                    biography/autobiography                                                This book is a must-read for anyone studying the
                                                                                                       Holocaust and is particularly recommended for high school
                                    12-1-0051                                                          students, for whom it may awaken an interest in reading
                                    Anderson, Stanice. I Say a Prayer for Me. New York:                Levi’s invaluable books.
                                    Warner Books, 2002. 340 pp. ISBN 0-446-53034-4, $21.95.                                                 — Robyn De Santis Ringler
                                                                                                                                                    Ballston Lake, N.Y.
                                       Anderson, formerly of USA Today online, is an inspira-
                                    tional speaker at 12-step programs offering encouragement          12-1-0053
                                    to recovering addicts. She also serves as a mentor to women        Buffalo Tiger and Kersey, Harry A., Jr. Buffalo Tiger: A Life
                                    recovering from addictions and abusive relationships. These        in the Everglades. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2002.
                                    achievements stem from her African-American upper-class            185 pp. ISBN 0-8032-1317-4, $27.95.
                                    upbringing in Washington, D.C., and recovery from addic-
                                    tion to drugs, which are the focus of her autobiography.              This autobiography of Buffalo Tiger, elder of the
                                       When Anderson experimented with drugs, she never imag-          Miccosukees in South Florida, is remarkable in its down-to-
                                    ined she would become an addict. However, she plummeted            earth portrayal of Miccosukee life and politics in the twenti-
                                    into full-fledged addiction, becoming what she describes as        eth century. A collaborative project between professor Kersey
                                    “a lonely, desperate, moral-less, and bitter woman hell bent       and the longtime tribal spokesman, this book takes us from
                                    on self-destruction.” One day, while shooting drugs and            an intimate look at Buffalo Tiger’s traditional, matriarchal
                                    watching the Christian television show “The 700 Club,” she         childhood in the Everglades to the efforts of learning to live
                                    heard someone say that God loved her. She responded to             alongside white America, and finally through the tribe’s
                                    this call to undertake the arduous journey to reclaim her life.    struggle for recognition. It closes fittingly with Buffalo Tiger’s
                                    She goes on to tell how she persevered through this turbu-         thoughts on the Miccosukees’ heritage and their future.
                                    lent time. Her faith in God and the 12-step program saved             An unassuming storyteller, Buffalo Tiger relates not only
                                    her from self-destruction. Her story also features prayers and     the history and politics of a century, but also the culture
                                    verses from the Bible after each chapter.                          and spirit of his people. Readers learn the importance of
                                       Anderson’s experience is heartfelt. She shares her vulner-      Breathmaker and the Green Corn Dance and follow the
                                    abilities with honesty and objectivity. For these reasons          Miccosukee as they lead indigenous people in the process
                                    her book is for readers who may need motivation in their           of self-determination. The book includes candid views on
                                    struggles to survive.                                              differences: among tribe members, with the Seminoles, and
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                                                                     — Dora Love       with the U.S. government. Kersey helps put Buffalo Tiger’s
                                                                               San Francisco, Calif.   stories within a historical framework by providing an excel-
                                                                                                       lent introduction, prefaces to each chapter, and an after-
                                    12-1-0052                                                          word. The authors’ words open the mind’s eye to the sights,
                                    Angier, Carole. The Double Bond: Primo Levi: A                     sounds, and feel of the Miccosukee’s Everglades, making for
                                    Biography. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002. 898            a truly enjoyable and educational read.
                                    pp. ISBN 0-374-11315-7, $40.00.                                                                         — Alicia M. Bartol-Thomas
                                                                                                                                                           Nokomis, Fla.
                                       Levi, a native of Turin, Italy, was one of the best writers
                                    to emerge from the Holocaust. His memoirs include Survival         12-1-0054
                                    in Auschwitz, The Reawakening, and The Periodic Table. Levi        Coetzee, J. M. Youth. New York: Viking, 2002. 169 pp. ISBN


74
0-670-03102-X, $22.95.                                              photographs enhances the portrayal of this unique writer.
                                                                        This is an excellent book for those already familiar with
    Irony defines Youth, the sequel to Coetzee’s mem-               Allende’s novels who want to learn more about the relation-
oir Boyhood. The subtitle for both texts, “Scenes from a            ship between the author and her works. The author’s meth-
Provincial Life,” immediately establishes the ironic thrust of      od is an avenue to gaining valuable insights into Allende’s
Youth, set primarily in seemingly nonprovincial London.             fiction. The translation is impressive.
    Youth is a deceptively simple yet brilliant piece. Written                                       — Rosita Chazaretta-Rourke
intriguingly in the generically ambiguous third person, it                                           Clarion Univ. of Pennsylvania
documents a young man’s search for a new life in a new              12-1-0056
country independent of a difficult family and away from an          Fortunate Eagle, Adam. Heart of the Rock: The Indian
untenable South African national policy. The heart of the           Invasion of Alcatraz. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press,
tale, however, is the desire to live as an intellectual and art-    2002. 232 pp. Written in collaboration with Tim Findley.
ist. As the unnamed main character explores his new envi-           Foreword by Vine Deloria, Jr. ISBN 0-8061-3396-1, $29.95.
ronment and attempts to make meaning of the mundane
necessities of daily life—eating, socializing, and earning a        Reyes, Lawney L. White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning
living—he interrogates his condition honestly.                      to Be Indian. Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 216
    Work situations begin with a numbing computer pro-              pp. ISBN 0-295-98202-0, $23.95.
grammer position in the city, providing a meager income.               These books would seem to have little in common, yet
The paucity of material comforts seems less troublesome,            there are connections. Both authors are Native—Reyes is of
though, than the lack of fulfilling human interactions, par-        Sin Aikst heritage (part of the Colville Confederation) and
ticularly with women, which invariably appear beyond the            Fortunate Eagle is Ojibwa. Both focus on events of the past;
man’s capability. He finds greater satisfaction, ironically,        both suffered the insults and indignities of racism, including
outside the capital, as a programmer/researcher for an excit-       education at Indian boarding schools. These, however, are
ing, but ethically questionable, state project.                     among the few similarities in two contrasting life stories.
    Reviewers have castigated Youth as a tale of predominant           Fortunate Eagle was one of the many Native Americans
misery or obsessive self-examination. They have missed              whose families were uprooted by termination, and he even-
the self-reflexive humor and prevailing irony that lighten          tually moved to San Francisco with his wife and settled
Coetzee’s story and create a compelling narrative.                  into urban life, apparently fully “assimilated.” Still, he
                                               — Anne Serafin       maintained a tenuous connection with local Indian orga-
                  Newton North High School, Newtonville, Mass.      nizations and eventually became one of the core activists
                                                                    who attempted the takeover of Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz had
12-1-0055                                                           long been a notorious federal prison, with famous inmates
Correas Zapata, Celia. Isabel Allende: Life and Spirits.            like Al Capone and Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz) and
Houston, Tex.: Arte Público, 2002. 204 pp. Trans. from Spanish      many Indians, some whose only crime had been to resist the
by Margaret Sayers Peden. ISBN 1-55885-363-4, $26.95.               forced removal of their children to faraway schools. When
                                                                    the island was abandoned in the late 1960s, Fortunate Eagle
    In this tribute in life to Allende, Correas Zapata, an inti-    helped to take it over and hold it for more than 19 months.
mate friend of the Chilean writer, looks into Allende’s past        The story he tells is one of idealism gone wrong, an enter-
in order to explore her multifaceted personality and the evo-       prise brought down by internal strife and external chicanery.
lution of her works. According to Allende, most of her novels       The potentially powerful symbolic occupation is now just a
originate in her personal history. Correas Zapata amalgam-          footnote in the history of the turbulent ‘60s.
ates the world of Allende’s real-life experiences with the             Reyes also suffered relocation, but in his case the cause
fictional one as presented in novels such as The House of the       was the damming of the Columbia River and the reloca-
Spirit, Eva Luna, and Paula, among others.                          tion less traumatic. Reyes returned from Chemawa Boarding
    The book is both a literary biography and, in a sense, an       School to his small-town life, and, while he came to know
                                                                                                                                     MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


autobiography. Correas Zapata depicts Allende’s character           discrimination, he adapted to the world in which he found
and personality by discussing her political, social, and liter-     himself. He eventually became art director of the Seafirst
ary views. In addition, the critic adds to the work by pre-         Bank Corporation. While Reyes’s life has been less confron-
senting her own literary commentaries on Allende’s novels.          tational than that of Fortunate Eagle, he has nonetheless
Moreover, through Allende’s response to a well-organized            honored his cultural heritage. White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy
questionnaire, the reader hears her self-revelation, her discus-    paints an idyllic picture of life growing up in a warm and
sion of her life’s journey and her relationship with her fam-       loving family and includes much information about the cul-
ily, with special focus on her late daughter, Paula, and on her     ture of Native people who live along the Columbia River.
mother, Panchita, her first reader and critic. A series of family      Of the two books, White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy is more




                                                                                                                                       75
                                    t continued biography/autobiography reviews

                                                        readable and enjoyable. Heart of the Rock     less grandmother whose sun-dried clothes exuded the aroma
                                                        suffers in comparison, in part because it     of spring flowers. Having lost several children, Dhanna
                                                        is a collaborative work and also because      dreamt that bathing at midnight in the pure water of a cer-
                                                        it reflects the chaotic times of the events   tain well would protect her surviving children, and she did
                                                        it relates. Though these books are very       so regularly. Kashmiris invested their beautiful landscape
                                                        different, both are worth reading.            with powers to heal, protect, and destroy.
                                                                                — Andy J. Deering        From her ancient kitchen, Dhanna served crispy river
                                                                           Central Wyoming College    trout, aromatic teas, and frothy buttermilk flavored with
                                                                                                      wild mint. Muslim and Hindu neighbors surreptitiously
                                                                                                      exchanged delicious dishes, forbidden by their religion, over
                                    12-1-0057                                                         the back fence.
                                    Hertzberg, Arthur. A Jew in America: My Life and a                   But now, Koul’s beloved vale has been plunged into an
                                    People’s Struggle for Identity. San Francisco: Harper San         abyss of violence. This excellent memoir, resonating with
                                    Francisco, 2002. 480 pp. ISBN 0-06-251710-4, $32.95.              an aching sense of loss, is full of unforgettable pictures of
                                                                                                      a unique way of life and is highly recommended to anyone
                                        What drives an American Jewish leader in the mid- to late     interested in that beautiful but troubled place.
                                    twentieth century? This important memoir by a leading figure                                              — Jaswinder Gundara
                                    in contemporary Jewish life suggests that nearly 2,000 years                                                   Coral Gables, Fla.
                                    of powerlessness, culminating in the Holocaust, led to his
                                    involvement in a broad range of activities. The descendant of     12-1-0059
                                    Hasidic rabbis, the Polish-born author sought to find meaning     Samuel, Vivette. Rescuing the Children: A Holocaust
                                    in America by becoming a Conservative rabbi. While a con-         Memoir. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002. 230 pp.
                                    gregational rabbi in New Jersey, he taught history at Columbia    Trans. from French and with an introduction by Charles B.
                                    University. During that period (1956-85) he also served as a      Paul. Foreword by Elie Wiesel. ISBN 0-299-17740-8, $32.95.
                                    vice president of the World Zionist Council, as president of
                                    the American Jewish Congress, as a consulting editor of the          Samuel volunteered, at the age of 22, to be sent to an
                                    Encyclopedia Judaica, and as chair of the International Jewish    internment camp in order to save Jewish children. Despite
                                    Committee for Interreligious Consultation, the recognized         the arrest of her father and her husband by the Gestapo,
                                    body for relations with the Vatican.                              despite the need to care for her own infant daughter, Samuel
                                       Unable to save his grandfather from death at the hands         carried out this work for three years until the liberation of
                                    of the Nazis, Hertzberg devoted his energy to strengthening       France. At least 400 Jewish children survived the war as a
                                    Jewish power. Now at New York University following 10             result of her efforts.
                                    years at Dartmouth, the 81-year-old rabbi tells of his dealings      Samuel was born in France of Ukrainian Jewish parents.
                                    with various Israeli prime ministers, papal representatives,      As a student she joined a group that fed Spanish children
                                    and U.S. government and UN officials in his struggle to steer     during the Civil War. After the Nazis overran Europe, she
                                    Jewish life into the future.                                      was recruited to work with refugee children. She was to
                                                                     — Rabbi Donald P. Cashman        arrange passage for as many as possible to other countries,
                                                                                       Albany, N.Y.   to provide refuge for those who could not escape, and at the
                                                                                                      war’s end, to find homes for them.
                                    12-1-0058                                                            Appended to Samuel’s narrative are the stories of several
                                    Koul, Sudha. The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir.               of the children, now adults, who were rescued through her
                                    Boston: Beacon Press, 2002. 218 pp. ISBN 0-8070-5918-8,           efforts. They are tales of lives shattered and rebuilt, of loss
                                    $24.00.                                                           and hope. This tale of great courage in the face of evil is told
                                                                                                      simply, without melodramatics of any kind. It reminds us of
                                       Koul’s haunting memoir of a bygone Kashmir paints an           a period of Jewish history, and of French history, which has
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    intimate portrait of a Brahmin family within a close-knit         been unjustly forgotten. Rescuing the Children is a valuable
                                    community. Despite her convent school education, her              addition to Holocaust literature.
                                    enchanted childhood was rich with local folklore, elaborate                                                    — Miriam Sawyer
                                    festivals, and rituals of weddings and births. Cradled by                                          Rutherford (N.J.) Public Library
                                    the Himalayas, Muslims and Hindus coexisted in harmony,
                                    sharing a common linguistic and cultural tradition. But           12-1-0060
                                    their state of innocence has been defiled by outsiders, who       Stewart, Ian. Ambushed: A War Reporter’s Life on the
                                    planted a cancer of sectarian violence that has been grossly      Line. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,
                                    mishandled by a bungling Indian government.                       2002. 320 pp. ISBN 1-56512-380-8, $24.95.
                                       The author’s earliest memories are of Dhanna, her tooth-




76
   Stewart’s autobiography of his death-defying year as            augment the text superbly.
Associated Press bureau chief for West Africa starts when he          Though the descriptions of torture and prison conditions
is a young, competitive, self-confessed adrenaline “junkie”        are intensely painful, Wamwere’s words are beautifully crafted.
whose cravings take him into war-ravaged areas of the              The memoir is a powerful and important document for those
Congo, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone. In the winter of           interested in African or Kenyan issues specifically or human
1998, 10 months after his arrival in Africa, he suffers a bullet   rights in general—from high school to adult readers.
to the brain. His escape from Africa turns out to be an escape                                                   — Anne Serafin
from death.                                                                         Newton North High School, Newtonville, Mass.
   In precise, clear prose, he depicts the excitement and          12-1-0062
boredom in his year as foreign correspondent. Stewart’s team       Winner, Lauren. Girl Meets God: On the Path to a
buys tickets on the last charter flights into these war zones      Religious Life. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of
and bribes officials to get close to the bullets and bombs.        Chapel Hill, 2002. 320 pp. ISBN 1-56512-309-3, $23.95.
His account brings Africa to life: the history and politics,
the beauty and decay, the poverty and wealth. Soon he is              Girl Meets God is a misleading title for Winner’s sophis-
haunted by the atrocities he witnesses. For no known reason,       ticated, articulate, literate description of her journey from
he explodes at a colleague. He decides to end his stay when        secular middle-class girlhood to Orthodox Judaism, and then
he learns that his stories are relegated to the back pages of      to Anglican Christianity.
the newspaper or not published at all.                                On the first level, this is an autobiography. Winner insists
                                                                   that we pay attention to the details of her life as she moves
   In England, Stewart must fight to survive his injury. With      toward Christianity because that is a way of acknowledging
compassion and insight, he takes us into his brain-injured         that she comes to God as a particular person with particular
mind in the intensive care unit, where he struggles to com-        gifts and needs.
municate with staff and family, and where sights and smells           On the second level, this is an engaging description of
of Africa haunt him. His long arduous rehabilitation ends          a spiritual journey. Winner leads us through some of the
with a sense of relief.                                            intricacies of Jewish and Christian spirituality. Perhaps
                                            — Karen Stancer        most original are her reflections on Pentecost and Shavuot.
                                              Vancouver, B.C.      Reflecting on the Christian Pentecost liturgy, she writes that
                                                                   Shavuot and the Christian celebration of Pentecost celebrate
12-1-0061                                                          human responsibility for carrying revelation into the world.
Wamwere, Koigi wa. I Refuse to Die: My Journey for                    On the third level, this book is a sophisticated, vernacular
Freedom. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002. 320 pp.              theology. Winner draws on Jewish and Christian sources,
Foreword by Kerry Kennedy Cuomo and Nan Richardson.                Scriptural, Talmudic, and contemporary, to take us beyond
ISBN 1-58322-521-8, $24.95.                                        her own experiences, even beyond her own journey, in order
                                                                   to lead us into reflections on God and God’s presence in the
    This comprehensive, informative, and engrossing memoir         world. She articulates what humans can say about God and
is really three books: a tale of childhood in colonial Kenya,      why their experience of God matters. Her autobiography of
an indictment of colonialism and the post-independence             her spiritual journey has given her a vocabulary for studying
Kenyatta government, and a polemic against the current             Torah and the Gospel as one unfolding revelation.
“dictatorship” (Wamwere’s word) of Daniel arap Moi. Openly                                                        — Mary Meany
biased, Wamwere writes unabashedly about the rigors of                                                                Siena College
his youth, education, political involvement as a member of
Parliament, marriage, and, ultimately, political imprisonments     History
and release with the assistance of Amnesty International. Born
in 1949, the author creates a dynamic, extremely readable his-     12-1-0063
tory of modern Kenya.                                              Alt, William E. and Alt, Betty L. Black Soldiers, White
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


    Blending artistic control with free-form storytelling, the     Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present.
text moves among straight narrative, snatches of real and          Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2002. 160 pp. ISBN 0-275-
imaginary dialogue, songs—exemplifying an important ele-           97261-1, $64.95.
ment of Kenyan protest strategy—and poetry composed in
prison. Each major section is marked clearly by the years and         The title of this work is somewhat misleading, in that
topic covered.                                                     the authors devote a disproportionate amount of space to
    Wamwere’s voice speaks persuasively, drawing the reader        an American experience with which they are clearly more
fully into his world. Somewhat disconcertingly, he employs         familiar. The text’s categorizing of French North African
considerable repetition. While this technique is occasionally      soldiers and Britain’s Indian Army as “blacks” is culturally
annoying, the narrative does not bog down and the repetition       and institutionally questionable and blurs the significant
reinforces comprehension. Sixteen pages of excellent photos        differences between these forces and those raised in sub-



                                                                                                                                        77
                                    tcontinued history reviews

                                    Saharan Africa. To say that Indian officers, the subadars and     and the American Civil War. Amherst: Univ. of
                                    jemadars, were respected by neither their British superiors       Massachusetts Press, 2002. 303 pp. ISBN 1-55849-344-1,
                                    nor their Indian subordinates is at best an indefensible gen-     $70.00 (cl); 1-55849-361-1, $19.95 (pb).
                                    eralization.
                                       Missing as well from this work, considered as an exercise         Blight, professor of history at Amherst, is a leading
                                    in comparative history, is any discussion of the anomalous        scholar of “memory studies,” the relationship of history to
                                    nature of the African-American experience in military ser-        memory. The dozen essays in this anthology, written over 15
                                    vice. The “black” soldiers of the European powers were part       years, focus on the meaning of the Civil War and the nature
                                    of an imperial system. They had little opportunity to become      of African-American history in the general context of the
                                    full members of that system, and few were interested in the
                                    prospect. Their segregated status frequently became the basis     uneasy relationship between history as reasoned reconstruc-
                                    for a self-definition as warriors, shock troops superior to the   tion of the past and memory as the heritage and identity of
                                    best of the “mother country’s” regiments. In contrast, blacks     a community. Their subjects range from a white Union sol-
                                    in U.S. uniforms, while taking pride in the achievements of       dier’s search for manhood and freedom by participation in
                                    segregated units, saw that situation as an intermediate stage     war, through a critique of the relationship between Abraham
                                    to equal participation in not only the armed forces, but the      Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, to an especially perceptive
                                    wider society as well.                                            discussion of the place of battlefields in constructing Civil
                                                                            — Dennis E. Showalter     War memory.
                                                                                   Colorado College      Blight, however, maintains a consistent focus on his main
                                                                                                      theme, “respect the poets and priests,” but as historians, do
                                    12-1-0064                                                         not become submerged in the power of the myth, however
                                    Bagley, Will. Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young                seductive it might be. His essay on “Reunion and Race in the
                                    and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows. Norman:                     Memory of the Civil War, 1875-1913,” is a model illustra-
                                    Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2002. 544 pp. ISBN 0-8061-3426-7,        tion of the aphorism, demonstrating both the decoupling
                                    $39.95.                                                           of the Civil War from the black experience in mainstream
                                                                                                      memory and the continued mythic potential of the histori-
                                       The first September 11 massacre occurred September 11,         cally based fact that emancipation was a consequence of civil
                                    1857, at Mountain Meadows, Utah. The horrendous slaugh-           war and social revolution. While not an easy read, Beyond the
                                    ter of 120 innocent men, women, and children remained             Battlefield is well worth its price to students of the subject.
                                    the largest organized terrorist act until the 1995 Oklahoma                                                — Dennis E. Showalter
                                    City bombing. Why did Mormon colonists in southern Utah                                                           Colorado College
                                    commit such an atrocity against a passing wagon train from
                                    Arkansas? And why did Mormon leadership try to cover it           12-1-0066
                                    up for 150 years? Bagley’s treatment can illuminate for the       Flewelling, Stan. Shirakawa: Stories from a Pacific
                                    serious student of multiculturalism recent terrorist acts moti-   Northwest Japanese American Community. Seattle:
                                    vated by religious zeal.                                          Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 250 pp. Preface by Gordon
                                       Bagley masterfully sets the scene by presenting Mormon         Hirabayashi. ISBN 0-295-98199-7, $24.95 (pb).
                                    origins and practices. His summary of how this Church/cul-
                                    ture came to be, key beliefs, and reasons for the tensions           While the appeal of this book might seem limited, it offers a
                                    between Mormons and the surrounding community where               fascinating glimpse into the 60-year history of a farming area.
                                    they had lived are essential in understanding what later             Shirakawa, White River, was the name used by Japanese
                                    occurred at Mountain Meadows. Many Latter-Day Saints              immigrants arriving at the White River Valley south of
                                    today are not aware of their own cultural history. These days     Seattle. This book tells their story, largely through oral his-
                                    the same rift between Mormons and the general society in          tories, memoirs, and old photos. Flewelling supplies the his-
                                    which they live simply does not exist.                            torical background and narrative organization. The stories
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                       Bagley seeks to bring closure to the three cultural groups     and photos trace the arrival of Japanese workers to the valley
                                    involved in the massacre: Mormons, Native Americans who           in the 1880s, the beginnings of their farms and other enter-
                                    assisted in the slaughter, and the Arkansas travelers who         prises, the growth of families and their community, their
                                    represented the main group of settlers. The book is not only      successes, and the backlash against them. The community
                                    important to Latter-Day Saints seeking to understand their        came to an end with the arrests of its leaders immediately
                                    own history, but it is instructive as a comparison to other       after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the wartime evacua-
                                    isolated cultures in contact with the world.                      tion of all Japanese Americans. A brief epilogue explains the
                                                                              — Frank Alan Bruno      demise of the community as many former residents decided
                                                                   Library, Prairie View A&M Univ.    to settle elsewhere after the war, and those who tried to
                                                                                                      return met with opposition from former neighbors. Their
                                    12-1-0065                                                         farms, operated by others, did not last long anyway, since
                                    Blight, David W. Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory,            agriculture has all but disappeared from the valley, suc-

78
cumbing to encroaching shopping malls, warehouses, and               acceptance until his suit finally was dismissed on technical
factories.                                                           grounds in 1957. Ward gained a measure of revenge, howev-
   This painstakingly researched and documented book should          er, when, after obtaining his law degree from Northwestern
be of interest to all students of history. Much credit goes to the   University, he joined the legal team that sued the university
author; a dedicated group of volunteers, including those at the      to force the admission of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton
White River Valley Museum; and King County for its financial         Holmes. This time federal courts were more willing to rule
support. This book should be a model for other projects to           against segregation. On January 11, 1961, Hunter and
preserve vanishing stories.                                          Holmes became the first African Americans to attend classes
                                                    — Al Hikida      on the Athens campus. That night white students, embold-
                               Seattle Central Community College     ened by inflammatory statements by racist politicians, rioted
12-1-0067                                                            outside Hunter’s dormitory. Threats of violence and social
Henderson, Alexa Benson and Sumler-Edmond, Janice, eds.              isolation, however, did not deter the determined duo, who
Freedom’s Odyssey: African American History Essays                   graduated from the university in 1963.
from Phylon. Atlanta: Clark Atlanta Univ. Press, 2002. 510              In Jim Crow’s Children, Irons traces a century and a half
pp. ISBN 0-9668555-0-7, $37.95.                                      of litigation challenging Jim Crow education. Starting with
                                                                     the 1849 case of Roberts v. City of Boston and ending with
   This compilation of some of the best essays on race and           the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision in Missouri v. Jenkins,
racism published between 1940 and 1988 originated in a W.            he chronicles the changing legal status of racially separate
E. B. Du Bois initiative on his return to Atlanta University in      schools. The main part of his narrative follows the progress
1933, after his tenure with the National Association for the         of the five separate suits that were consolidated to form the
Advancement of Colored People as editor of its journal, The          Brown case. Irons also describes how the growing national
Crisis. Du Bois’s project as head of the university’s sociology      backlash against court-ordered integration and the appoint-
department was titled Phylon: A Review of Race and Culture.          ment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court resulted
   In addition to being a “tribute to the monumental legacy          in the 1974 Milliken v. Bradley decision halting efforts to
of Du Bois,” it is both an excellent “monographic reference          desegregate Detroit schools. After Milliken the court steadily
work…as well as a work of contemporary pedagogical sig-              retreated from efforts to dismantle segregated school sys-
nificance.” Divided into five chronologically thematic parts,        tems. Irons ends his survey by reviewing statistical studies
the book explores the odyssey of African Americans through           demonstrating increased racial segregation in the nation’s
topics ranging from the Middle Passage and enslavement               schools and wide gaps in academic achievement between
to emancipation, Jim Crow, post-Brown, and the civil rights          white and black students. Despite this disappointing data,
strategies of Martin Luther King, Jr.                                he refuses to call the Brown decision a failure. Rather, he
   The editors have selected 29 of the most erudite essays           concludes that two decades was too little time to undo the
from among a total of 200 published over the nearly 50 years         harm caused by a century of Jim Crow schooling.
of Phylon’s existence. As 29 excellent examples of academic             Pratt’s work is narrow in scope and of interest mainly to
scholarship, “the essays collectively provide a broad frame-         other historians. Irons’s study is comprehensive in its view,
work for the study of the African American experience, each          compelling in its writing, and of considerable relevance to
entry individually chronicles a significant aspect of the racial     the ongoing debate about school segregation. Other authors
dilemma in America.” The book is suitable for students at            have told parts of this story, most notably Richard Kluger
the high school and college levels as well as the general read-      (Simple Justice) and Gary Orfield (Dismantling Desegregation),
ing public.                                                          but few have done it as well. If Jim Crow’s Children has a
                                       — A. J. Williams-Myers        fault, it is that it offers no remedies for the serious problems
                   State Univ. of New York, College at New Paltz     it documents so fully. Nevertheless, everyone concerned
                                                                     about the state of education in America should read it.
12-1-0068                                                                                                           — Paul T. Murray
Irons, Peter. Jim Crow’s Children: The Broken Promise                                                                     Siena College
                                                                                                                                          MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


of the Brown Decision. New York: Viking, 2002. 400 pp.               12-1-0069
ISBN 0-670-88918-0, $29.95.                                          Pritchard, Evan T. Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the
                                                                     Algonquin People of New York. Tulsa, Okla.: Council Oak
Pratt, Robert A. We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation            Books, 2002. 490 pp. ISBN 1-57178-107-2, $29.95.
of the University of Georgia. Athens: Univ. of Georgia
Press, 2002. 205 pp. ISBN 0-8203-2399-3, $29.95.                        Pritchard provides a detailed account of the customs,
                                                                     culture, and legacy of the Native American people who lived
   We Shall Not Be Moved is a carefully researched account           in the Hudson River Valley prior to and during the period of
of the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Pratt             European contact.
begins his story in 1950 with Horace T. Ward’s application              The author, a professor of Native American history at
to the School of Law. State authorities and school officials         Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, makes use of
countered every move by Ward’s attorneys to secure his               a variety of sources to trace the legacy of the members of

                                                                                                                                            79
                                    tcontinued history reviews
                                    the Algonquin tribe who dwelled in the New York City               Stearns, Peter N. Cultures in Motion: Mapping Key
                                    and Hudson River Valley. Informative maps complement               Contacts and Their Imprints in World History. New
                                    the text. An appendix of Algonquin vocabulary, pertinent           Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ. Press, 2002. 120 pp. ISBN 0-300-
                                    historical documents, and a time line of Algonquin history         08228-2, $35.00 (cl); 0-300-08229-0, $15.95 (pb).
                                    further enhance the book. While it includes much informa-
                                    tion often ignored by “mainstream” histories, there are also           This book describes cultural diffusions/contacts in world
                                    some caveats. The author, a descendant of the Algonquins,          history, especially Western, and includes 14 chapters with two
                                    denigrates European culture and accomplishments in the             dozen maps, divided into the classical period, the fifth to eigh-
                                    course of presenting the Algonquian legacy. There is also an       teenth centuries, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
                                    uncomfortable anti-Semitic undertone to the section on the         Chapters conclude with a brief list of suggested readings, and
                                    explorers Columbus and Verrazano, along with an implied            the book ends with a chapter-by-chapter bibliography. The
                                    Jewish conspiracy theory.                                          maps are in tones of gray and red/pink. The preparation of a
                                       Native New Yorkers, while depicting some fascinating and        historical atlas is quite challenging, requiring clear graphics to
                                    ignored information, must be read judiciously. This study          convey complex scholarship. This work may not always seem
                                    does fill a void in colonial American period historiography;       effective in that regard. The first map, “Bronze Age Trade Routes
                                    however, it is far from being an unbiased approach. Perhaps        (c. 1450 BCE),” portrays Phoenicia as primarily a recipient of
                                    the value of the book is that it is bound to stir controversy      Egyptian trade. However, during the Late Bronze Age Phoenicia
                                    and dialogue.                                                      linked trading networks that included Egypt, Mycenae, Syria-
                                                                                 — Mike Russert        Palestine, and Mesopotamia (M. Aubet, The Phoenicians and
                                                                                 Cambridge, N.Y.       the West). Without knowing this broad commercial context, it
                                    12-1-0070                                                          becomes hard to grasp the rationale for the cultural diffusion
                                    Schrijvers, Peter. The GI War Against Japan: American              of the Phoenician alphabet to the Greeks and Romans.
                                    Soldiers in Asia and the Pacific During World War                      Another map, “Christianity and the Americas, 1500-1700
                                    II. New York: New York Univ. Press, 2002. 320 pp. ISBN 0-          CE,” shows Portuguese missionary areas in Brazil going no
                                    8147-9816-0, $45.00.                                               further south than the headwaters of the Paraná River! In
                                                                                                       reality, they advanced along the Atlantic almost to Uruguay
                                       Schrijvers, professor at Geneva’s Graduate Institute of         and included the founding of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
                                    International Studies, complements his excellent study of          This atlas could be a useful tool in history and cultural stud-
                                    U.S. combat soldiers in Europe during World War II with an         ies classes. However, it needs careful supporting explanation
                                    equally perceptive volume focused on the Pacific. Key to the       from an instructor.
                                    work is his argument that Americans processed the Pacific                                                    — Edward A. Riedinger
                                    in terms of their own far west. They saw the war theater, be                                                Ohio State Univ. Libraries
                                    it Guadalcanal, India, or the Philippines, as a frontier and
                                    responded to it by assuming culturally conditioned roles           12-1-0072
                                    as pioneers, romantics, missionaries, and imperialists. To a       Tygiel, Jules. Extra Bases: Reflections on Jackie
                                    significant degree that response reflected the Pacific’s “other-   Robinson, Race, and Baseball History. Lincoln: Univ.
                                    ness,” helping men and women to make sense of environ-             of Nebraska Press/Bison Books, 2002. 192 pp. ISBN 0-8032-
                                    ments that were in fact completely alien. It also focused an       9447-6, $17.95 (pb).
                                    obsession with controlling and reshaping landscapes and
                                    peoples—and generated increasing frustration when both                Tygiel, a professor of history at San Francisco State
                                    refused to respond.                                                University, has assembled several thought-provoking pieces
                                       Schrijvers’s linking of that frustration to the massive         about issues behind baseball. His primary focus concerns the
                                    destruction unleashed by American armed forces in the              impact of Jackie Robinson on the game. In fact the author
                                    Pacific War is provocative. It downplays the more immediate        has made something of a cottage industry of Robinson’s
                                    “frustration” caused by a skilled and determined Japanese          story, Extra Bases marking his third book about the player.
                                    enemy whose defeat was the proximate reason for America’s             The first section includes essays on Robinson’s signing
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    large-scale Pacific presence. Similarly, Schrijvers’s equating     by Branch Rickey, the wily general manager of the Brooklyn
                                    the end of direct European rule after World War II with the        Dodgers, and the circumstances surrounding his court-mar-
                                    ultimate defeat of the West in Asia is less self-evident than      tial while serving as a lieutenant in the army during World
                                    he believes. These, however, are minor reservations about a        War II. The latter story is illuminating, marking Robinson as
                                    provocative book that belongs in all serious collections on        a man who would tolerate no disrespect because of his race.
                                    World War II.                                                         Part two is a general reflection on racism and sports,
                                                                           — Dennis E. Showalter       including essays on the impact Jim Crow laws played on
                                                                                   Colorado College    the stifling segregation of the game. In many communities,
                                    12-1-0071                                                          blacks and whites were not permitted to compete against




80
each other, a primary reason why Robinson served his minor           and liberation. Chapter three is particularly good in dealing
league apprenticeship in Montreal.                                   with the theological, musical, and homiletic elements of this
   The final section might be the most interesting, since the        spirituality. The last four chapters document the problems
articles touch on areas that have not received as much atten-        and possibilities of the black churches in the present.
tion: the impact of television on how the game is perceived             Pinn handles the issue of sexism and ministry honestly
by the fans, and a critique on the evolution of the academic         and sensitively, but lapses into political correctness when
(as opposed to “popular”) baseball history book. Tygiel is           dealing with same-sex marriage and what he calls “heterosex-
one of the premier authors of “serious” baseball writing.            ism”—a new sin that consists of awarding a privileged status
                                               — Ron Kaplan          to the union of man and woman in marriage. However, the
                                                Montclair, N.J.      book remains an excellent summary of the challenges, tasks,
Religion                                                             and possibilities that confront the black church today.
                                                                                                                   — John C. Dwyer
12-1-0073                                                                                         St. Bernard’s Institite, Albany, N.Y.
De Leon-Hartshorn, Iris; Shearer, Tobin Miller; and Stoltzfus,       Education
Regina Shands. Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity
Against Racism. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2002. 170 pp.          12-1-0075
ISBN 0-8361-9157-9, $14.95 (pb).                                     Hinton, Leanne. How to Keep Your Language Alive: A
                                                                     Commonsense Approach to One-on-One Language
    This is a passionate book that brings together the expe-         Learning. Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books, 2002. 140 pp.
rience, insights, and programs of a very diverse team: two           ISBN 1-890771-42-2, $15.95 (pb).
women (one Native American, one black) and a white man.
The authors have hammered out their understanding of                    This book is about learning a language without the ben-
racism and its causes in discussions among themselves, but           efit of a classroom. Written by a professor of linguistics at
they give us a coherent analysis of the various forms and            the University of California, Berkeley, and a cofounder of
dimensions of racism and are particularly good in discussing         Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, How
the destructive consequences of racism on the oppressors as          to Keep Your Language Alive is a manual of a method of learn-
well as the oppressed.                                               ing a language through one-on-one language immersion.
    The strength of the book is the grounding of its analysis        This approach, the “Master-Apprentice Language Learning
and all of its proposals for change in Scripture, and, above         Method,” was created for people who may not have access
all, on the Jesus of the Gospels. The authors share a way of         to language classes, but do have access to a native speaker.
thinking about the relationship of individual and commu-                The framework of this approach is based on a master and
nity that is at the opposite end from American individualism         apprentice-partner: the master is the mentor/teacher and
(and which is, I believe, debatable), and this may prevent           the apprentice is the student/learner. Examples of what a
it from becoming the powerful catalyst for discussion and            typical language-learning session would be like as well as a
action that it deserves to be. But no matter where one stands        two-week sample of language sessions, language activities,
on the political spectrum, the book offers both challenges           and planning and practice lessons are included.
and hope. It sensitizes the reader to dimensions of racism of           Of value is a bibliography of books aimed at learning a
which we are not usually aware, and it does this in a way that       language with formal instruction, books on language teach-
transcends the usual categories of liberal and conservative.         ing, and information about what other people are doing in
                                               — John C. Dwyer       language revitalization.
                             St. Bernard’s Institute, Albany, N.Y.                                         — Melvina Azar Dame
                                                                                                                    San Jose, Calif.
12-1-0074
Pinn, Anthony B. The Black Church in the Post–Civil                  12-1-0076
Rights Era. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2002. 176 pp.              Hones, Donald F., ed. American Dreams, Global
ISBN 1-57075-423-3, $20.00 (pb).                                     Visions: Dialogic Teacher Research with Refugee and
                                                                                                                                          MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003



                                                                     Immigrant Families. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum,
   Although Pinn offers a thumbnail summary of the his-              2002. 194 pp. ISBN 0-8058-3707-8, $59.95 (cl); 0-8058-3708-
tory of black Christianity in the United States from its earli-      6, $19.95 (pb).
est days, he is particularly strong in dealing with the inner
tensions of the black churches in the last 30 years of the              These essays capture the voices, the lived realities,
twentieth century. He notes two conflicting tendencies: the          of immigrant and refugee families of Hmong, Mexican,
loss of commitment to the social gospel in the seventies,            Assyrian, Kurdish, and Kosovar ethnic and cultural back-
which resulted in the alienation of young blacks from a              grounds. Preservice and veteran teachers in a Wisconsin
church that did not share their concerns; and on the other           Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
hand, in the nineties, the return to the churches of middle-         program were given the challenge of engaging in dialogic
class blacks, who were looking for a spirituality based on a         research with these families. Dialogic research uses a combi-
deep appropriation of the black experience of oppression             nation of ethnographic, participatory, and narrative meth-

                                                                                                                                            81
                                    t continued education reviews

                                    ods of research. Through this assignment, teachers gained         pus.” Her powerful narratives delve into implications of
                                    accurate knowledge of why these families migrated to the          diversifying the faculty of higher education. Issues of race,
                                    United States. The families told how U.S. military action and     class, and gender are at the core. These nonwhite women
                                    other political conflicts caused famine and disaster in their     professors interrogate their classroom experiences in cam-
                                    homelands, often forcing their migration.                         puses across America that are largely white, to examine the
                                       After dialoguing with these families, teachers/researchers     impact of their social positions on their classroom practices
                                    used this book to present their findings. Through poetry and      and their teaching/learning selves.
                                    pictures the selected families’ stories were told. The essence       This volume tackles the larger question of how social dis-
                                    of this book is to promote broader understanding and social       tinctions shape classroom life. It will be a resource for those
                                    justice in schools and communities. This work also hopes          concerned with enabling the diversification of the faculty of
                                    to alleviate the challenge of dialogue between teachers and       higher education. These narratives share thoughts explain-
                                    those whose cultural backgrounds they seek to understand.         ing the slow progress of hiring women faculty of color in
                                    Most importantly, it is designed to bridge school, commu-         academe (especially in predominantly white institutions),
                                    nity, and family. This work makes an excellent contribution       the struggle for multiculturalism, practicing transformative
                                    to effective multicultural teaching and learning.                 pedagogy, and the continuing issue of marginality of women
                                                                                   — Linda Rhone      faculty of color on predominantly white college and univer-
                                                                                     Wichita, Kan.    sity campuses.
                                    12-1-0077                                                            The juxtaposition of these two volumes provides powerful
                                    Nash, Robert J. Religious Pluralism in the Academy:               motivation for those of us who are on college and university
                                    Opening the Dialogue. New York: Peter Lang, 2002. 224             campuses to continue the dialogue on religious pluralism
                                    pp. ISBN 0-8204-5592-X, $29.95 (pb).                              and faculty diversity.
                                                                                                                                                — Anthony Edwards
                                    Vargas, Lucila, ed. Women Faculty of Color in the White                                                   Univ. of South Carolina
                                    Classroom. New York: Peter Lang, 2002. 360 pp. ISBN 0-
                                    8204-4994-6, $32.95 (pb).                                         12-1-0078
                                                                                                      Provenzo, Eugene F., Jr., ed. Du Bois on Education.
                                        With the first anniversary of 9/11, issues of diversity and   Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. 344 pp. ISBN 0-
                                    pluralism are at the core of social thought on many college       7591-0199-X, $75.00 (cl); 0-7591-0200-7, $24.95 (pb).
                                    campuses. One such controversy arose at the University of
                                    North Carolina in Chapel Hill where the freshman reading             Provenzo brings Du Bois’s educational thought and theoriz-
                                    experience centered on a book about Islam. Nash addresses         ing into focus and extends our understanding of his contribu-
                                    this case and points out the paradox of students’ interest in     tions to the field of education. He also brings to the attention
                                    meaning-seeking and pluralism’s exclusion of religion from        of scholars like myself a neglected but critically important
                                    discussions in higher education. Moreover, during the past        aspect of Du Bois’s work. Writings include Du Bois’s reflec-
                                    year, religious hatred and violence have been documented          tions on his own educational experience (which shaped his
                                    over and over. Nash’s timely volume attempts to answer the        educational views), the relationship between education and
                                    question, “Why do you suppose that so much violence has           social power, critiques and studies of elementary and second-
                                    been, and is still being, committed in the name of religion       ary education, and his writings on higher education.
                                    throughout the world?” Nash brings together the voices and           Provenzo helps to provide a firm foundations on which to
                                    perspectives of higher education faculty, administrators, and     build the notion that “Du Bois was one of the most signifi-
                                    students for this critical dialogue. He makes a powerful argu-    cant educational thinkers of the twentieth century and that
                                    ment that challenges the academy to return to the liberal arts    his many works and educational views have much relevance
                                    heritage of open intellectual dialogue: “American universities    to the social, economic, and political realities of contempo-
                                    ought to enlarge their understanding of pluralism to include      rary African-American life.”
                                    open, challenging, spiritually and educationally revitalizing        Du Bois is mostly remembered for his idea of “the tal-
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    conversations about genuine religious differences.” Colleges      ented tenth.” He believed that only a selected few, “not the
                                    and universities throughout America provide the perfect set-      majority of men,” were capable of this “higher training.” Du
                                    ting for this dialogue to take place in hopes of coming to a      Bois fully understood that education was a two-edged sword
                                    true understanding of religious pluralism.                        that could be used either to liberate or subjugate specific
                                        Vargas takes diversity of higher education in America to      social and cultural groups.
                                    another level. She asks the overarching question, “What is           This is a much-needed book in the area of educational
                                    it like for women of color to teach in predominantly white        thought. Provenzo argues that Du Bois’s ideas on education
                                    college classrooms?”                                              remain vital and that he represents one of the most important
                                        Vargas addresses “the unique pedagogical challenges           and interesting educational thinkers of the twentieth cen-
                                    faced by professors who look, and are, very different from        tury.
                                    the typical professor of the predominantly White U.S. cam-                                                  — Anthony Edwards


82
                                       Univ. of South Carolina       Written in layman’s prose and not the jargon of econo-
                                                                  mists, the assessments are easily understood and supported
12-1-0079                                                         by the generous use of clear graphs and tables. An added
TuSmith, Bonnie and Reddy, Maureen T., eds. Race in the           feature, which clearly indicates the book’s student audi-
College Classroom: Pedagogy and Politics. Piscataway,             ence, is a section of discussion questions at the end of each
N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2002. 336 pp. ISBN 0-8135-3108-X,      chapter. This is an important work that makes a valuable
$60.00 (cl); 0-8135-3109-8, $22.00 (pb).                          contribution to the Mexican American Experience series of
                                                                  the University of Arizona Press and should be read by any-
   This collection is of particular interest to me as a college   one having an interest in the socioeconomic structure of the
instructor who uses race and ethnicity as a framework in          United States.
my critical pedagogy. Its premise is to open a conversation                                                — James C. Harrison
about how race structures all classrooms and how college                                                           Siena College
instructors can dismantle that structure to make way for a        12-1-0081
new nonracist academic environment.                               Huerta-Macías, Ana G. Workforce Education for Latinos:
   The essays provide personal insights on bringing race into     Politics, Programs, and Practices. Westport, Conn.:
the college classroom and the authority of the instructor         Greenwood, 2002. 160 pp. ISBN 0-89789-808-7, $54.95.
according to his/her race or ethnicity. Coming from a large
public university in the South, I hear reservations from black       Huerta-Macías’s solid text details the sociopolitical con-
students enrolled in African American Studies courses about       text of adult education for Latinos today and offers concrete
white faculty not being an authority on the black experience      examples of how adult educators and educational programs
in America. These types of conversations must be engaged in       can better meet the needs of the diverse Latino students who
order to have open discussions to assist in building a nonra-     seek educational development. Her text provides a reflective
cist academic environment.                                        overview of the adult educational models and approaches
   Race in the College Classroom continues the open dialogue      currently implemented in the United States and suggests
on race and ethnicity with public statements on pedagogy          strategies that can enhance the learning experiences of this
and race. It is a clarion call for college instructors to be      ever-growing population.
socially committed educators requiring an honest and critical        The author stresses the importance of developing cur-
examination of race and ethnicity in their classrooms. This       ricula that reflect and relate to the lives of the students.
transformative process is a positive endeavor that dismantles     She cautions against limiting the curricula to discrete skills
racist attitudes and provides for a more harmonious existence     that the learner is likely to encounter in a particular trade
on college campuses and in American society as a whole.           or occupation. She promotes the use of a problem-posing
                                          — Anthony Edwards       approach to educating Latino adults, thereby implementing
                                        Univ. of South Carolina   a “transformative” approach to learning. Such an approach
                                                                  truly serves to activate and validate the funds of prior knowl-
Business and Economics                                            edge that adult learners possess.
                                                                     Huerta-Macías argues that the goal for these students
12-1-0080                                                         should not be simply to obtain employment but rather to
González, Arturo. Mexican Americans and the U.S.                  facilitate their ability to “advance to better paying positions
Economy: Quest for Buenos Días. Tucson: Univ. of Arizona          and eventually to pursue higher education.” Her text serves
Press, 2002. 165 pp. ISBN 0-8165-1977-3, $14.95 (pb).             as an effective tool to explore these suggestions.
                                                                                                              — Melanie A. Pores
    The Mexican-American population in the United States                                         Albany (N.Y.) City School District
is large and significant culturally, socially, and economi-
cally. As of 2000, Mexican Americans constitute 21.7 mil-         Social and Political Sciences
lion people scattered across the 50 states but concentrated
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


in California, Texas, and Arizona. González, a research           12-1-0082
economist, examines the economic plight of Mexican                Alexander, Yonah, ed. Combating Terrorism: Strategies
Americans as they seek to overcome racial prejudice and           of Ten Countries. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press,
injustice. Utilizing the most recent census information, he       2002. 436 pp. Foreword by R. James Woolsey. ISBN 0-472-
focuses on four main topics: immigration, education, wealth       09824-1, $28.95.
and poverty, and the labor market for Mexican Americans.
Evaluation of the statistics leads González to conclude that         Alexander is a leading international authority on terror-
all the indicators show an upward progression from one gen-       ism from a conservative/realist perspective. In this anthol-
eration to the next. Thus, Buenos Días, the search for better     ogy he presents the antiterrorism strategies of 10 govern-
days economically and respect for Mexican Americans as an         ments with extensive and varied experience of the subject.
integral part of the community, can be achieved.                  Such usual suspects as the United States, Britain, and Israel



                                                                                                                                        83
                                    t continued social & political sciences reviews

                                    are featured, but more exotic venues make an appearance as        Campbell, Nedra. More Justice, More Peace: The Black
                                    well: Argentina, well described by journalist Roger Fontaine,     Person’s Guide to the American Legal System. Chicago:
                                    Colombia, India, Japan. The contributors, while drawn pri-        Lawrence Hill, 2002. 256 pp. ISBN 1-55652-468-2, $14.95.
                                    marily from the international academic community, take a
                                    robust approach to the subject and offer a balanced set of           In this primer to the American legal system, the author
                                    common-sense recommendations.                                     presumes that African Americans need to be informed about
                                       Successful antiterrorist strategies are usually linked         the internal mechanisms of the justice system. She also
                                    to maintaining—and even extending—human rights.                   feels that due to the historical impact of slavery, landmark
                                    Comprehensive cooperation, including systematic exchanges         Supreme Court decisions, the Constitution, and Jim Crow,
                                    of information, among civil and military agencies is vital.       we are dealing with a system that is not only flawed, but
                                    So is proper counter-terrorist training of security forces.       biased in favor of the majority persons who have authored
                                    Negotiation, while its record is mixed, should not be excluded    the laws over the years.
                                    a priori. Above all, governments and politicians must be will-       The text aims to empower African Americans in a myriad
                                    ing to learn from mistakes: their own and others’. Alexander’s    of situations. Demystifying the judicial and court processes
                                    concluding warnings, that terrorist restraint of violence is      is an important aspect that is reviewed. Information about
                                    more a matter of tactics than principle and that vulnerable,      voting rights, family law, landlord and tenant disputes, con-
                                    complex modern societies are better able to prevent terrorist     sumer protection, and entrepreneurship are also discussed in
                                    attacks than withstand them, may not sit well with many           lay terms.
                                    readers. Yet these warnings cannot be dismissed or ignored.          More Justice, More Peace is supplemented with extensive
                                                                            — Dennis E. Showalter     appendices and resources. Sample legal letters of inquiry,
                                                                                   Colorado College   a directory of agencies, a list of Internet resources, and a
                                                                                                      glossary of legal terms are also included. Recommended for
                                    12-1-0083                                                         public libraries.
                                    Bellos, Alex. Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life. New                                                     — Anthony Todman
                                    York: Bloomsbury, 2002. 407 pp. ISBN 1-58234-250-4,                                                      St. John’s Univ. Library
                                    $25.95.
                                                                                                      12-1-0085
                                       This is one of the most thorough studies of Brazilian soc-     Chen, Shehong. Being Chinese, Becoming Chinese
                                    cer ever to appear in English. The warm enthusiasm of Bellos      American. Champaign: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2002. 242
                                    for “futebol” and Brazil is coolly communicated through           pp. ISBN 0-252-02736-1, $39.95.
                                    his journalistic expertise. The author serves as the foreign
                                    correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for two leading British           Qian Ning. Chinese Students Encounter America.
                                    newspapers. The book’s text is supported by extensive color       Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 296 pp. Trans.
                                    and black-and-white photographs and maps. Like any news-          from Chinese by T. K. Chu. ISBN 0-295-98180-6, $35.00.
                                    paperman, Bellos relies heavily on interviews, not just with
                                    players, coaches, and fans but also with politicians, artists,       In searching for ways to make China strong, generations
                                    and even social scientists.                                       of Chinese intellectuals went abroad to study, primarily
                                       He studies the historical development of the Brazilian         to the United States. The opening of China to the West
                                    game from its British origins in 1894. It began as a sport        also witnessed waves of Chinese farmers from the coastal
                                    of white elites and progressively expanded to include the         areas emigrating to seek a better living. These early Chinese
                                    middle and working classes, and players of mixed race and         immigrants formed the core elements of the American
                                    African descent. The highlights of this history are the qua-      Chinatowns, or other Chinese communities, which grew
                                    drennial World Cup matches. Since the beginning of the            with the arrival of their relatives, other immigrants, and
                                    World Cup in 1930, Brazil has won more (five) than any            Chinese students.
                                    other country. The other highlights of the work are the stars        Being Chinese, Becoming Chinese American investigates how
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    who swayed these matches, such as Garrincha, Pelé, and            Chinese immigrants transformed themselves into Chinese
                                    Ronaldo. Bellos describes and explains the unique style of        Americans between 1911 and 1927. The Chinese immigrants
                                    Brazilian soccer, its hallmark of freewheeling yet rhythmic       took a unique view toward traditional Chinese values and
                                    play. He also analyzes the contemporary administrative and        expressed their vision of what a modern China should be. At
                                    financial structure of the “industry,” dissecting its recent      the same time the nationalist feelings emboldened them to
                                    wave of corruption scandals. The timing for the appearance        stand up for their right to be regarded as an integral part of
                                    of this book is right in the net.                                 the American society. Thence emerged a Chinese-American
                                                                          — Edward A. Riedinger       identity. The author’s analysis reveals four essential elements
                                                                         Ohio State Univ. Libraries   of the Chinese-American identity during the period: support
                                                                                                      for republicanism over the restoration of monarchy; a wish
                                    12-1-0084                                                         to preserve Confucianism and traditional Chinese culture


84
although both were under attack in China; support for              therefore, is its rich distillation of Dorfman’s close memories
Christianity in spite of its unpopularity among the Chinese        of the events of a quarter century. The memoirs advance in
at home; and opposition to the Nationalist Party’s alliance        tides of suspense, recounting tensely awaited judicial deci-
with the Soviet Union and cooperation with the Chinese             sions, political deliberations, and medical opinions.
Communist Party. Chen documents the building of per-                  But the aged Pinochet has escaped justice. Protected for
manent Chinese-American communities and Chinatowns                 reasons of health, he lingers on, free of judicial scrutiny. He
based on the information she collected from three major            will not confront a sentence proper to his offenses, only the
Chinese language newspapers of the time.                           mortality common to all. Ultimately these memoirs leave no
    Chinese Students Encounter America focuses on the Chinese      suspense, only a bitter perception of an anticlimactic injus-
students who came to study at U.S. higher education institu-       tice imbedded in Chile and Dorfman’s history.
tions after 1978. After tracing briefly the history of Chinese                                              — Edward A. Riedinger
students in America from Yung Wing, who graduated from                                                     Ohio State Univ. Libraries
Yale in 1854, to the post–Cultural Revolution generation,          12-1-0087
the author presents episodes of the life stories of Chinese        Erikson, Patricia Pierce, with Helma Ward and Kirk
students through personal interviews. Qian touches on a            Wachendorf. Voices of a Thousand People: The Makah
variety of topics: culture shock, academic activities, survival    Cultural and Research Center. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska
struggles, and marital crisis. These personal stories suggest      Press, 2002. 264 pp. ISBN 0-8032-1824-9, $45.00.
the legacy of decades of social and political turbulence in
China, further complicated by the adjustment to America’s          Haycox, Stephen. Alaska, an American Colony. Seattle:
dazzling material abundance and personal freedom but               Univ. of Washington Press, 2002. 392 pp. ISBN 0-295-98249-
totally different value system and standards. While provid-        7, $29.95.
ing a reasonably critical description of the personalities of
individual Chinese students who had either succeeded in               To understand the mechanisms of colonization and
fitting into the American society or failed in their own ways,     decolonization requires case studies that have historical
the book discusses the basis of Chinese views toward the           depth and contemporary breadth. Colonization and decolo-
West, and portrays the United States as a country with many        nization are mirror processes by which oppressive forces
niceties as well as flaws. To a certain extent, the book allows    impose their ideologies or are deposed and resisted. Both
American readers to examine their own country through              Haycox and Erikson use institutional lenses to focus on the
Chinese experiences and perspectives.                              ideological processes that shackle or free peoples.
                                                   — Suping Lu        Against the backdrop of Native prehistory and culture,
                                      Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln    geography, and environmental history, Haycox traces the
                                                                   development of Alaska as a political economy from the fur
12-1-0086                                                          trade of the Russian America Company (RAC) through its
Dorfman, Ariel. Exorcising Terror: The Incredible                  acquisition by the United States, Native land settlement, and
Unending Trial of General Augusto Pinochet. New                    contemporary resource-exporting state. He demonstrates
York: Seven Stories, 2002. 224 pp. ISBN 1-58322-542-0,             that even in statehood the colonial legacy continues to bur-
$11.95 (pb).                                                       den a people who lack the sociopolitical reflexivity to make
                                                                   realistic choices about their self-interests. Bringing the reali-
   This book has two beginnings and awaits an ending. The          ties of a colonial history to the consciousness of Alaskans
noted Chilean author recalls in the opening how he first           seems to be Haycox’s quest. His less-than-romantic account
heard in October 1998 that General Pinochet, the bloodiest         of Alaska paints a stark picture of the socioeconomic realities
overseer of state terrorism in Chile’s history, was under arrest   against a global background. If Alaskans don’t understand
in London. Dorfman then reflects back to how the Pinochet          the economic forces that shape their colonial history and
dictatorship began on September 11, 1973.                          current institutions, how can the mystification under which
   The author had then been an adviser for the chief of staff      the state labors change?
                                                                                                                                        MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


of the Marxist president of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende. As           Erikson, on the other hand, bears witness to the Makah’s
would another day of terror on a September 11, the Pinochet        use of the concept of “museum” as a site of decolonization.
coup climaxed with an assault from the sky. The Chilean air        The Makah saw the potential of the museum as a vehicle by
force, using American aircraft, bombed the presidential pal-       which to further their own agenda of cultural, political, eco-
ace. In those ruins Allende died. (The overthrow was heartily      nomic, and social revitalization. They came face-to-face with
encouraged by U.S. President Richard Nixon and Secretary of        their history at the Ozette archeological dig. The artifacts of
State Henry Kissinger.)                                            their ancestors were of interest to scholars and governments,
   A well-placed collaborator of the Allende government,           thus investing power and legitimacy in the contested site.
Dorfman escaped into exile, where he relentlessly led inter-       This was the energy the Makah tapped into to fuel their revi-
national opposition to Pinochet. The singularity of this work,     talization. With that reclamation, they had a clear history on




                                                                                                                                          85
                                    t continued social & political sciences reviews

                                    which to look back to and build on with language, art, social    growth, goals, and impact does not sufficiently stress the
                                    roles, education, economic development, whaling, and so          differences. Moreover, the book does not fully discuss the
                                    on. They are a people that know how to transform histories       awesome power that some nations can still use to oppose the
                                    into presents.                                                   best intentions and actions of international organizations.
                                        The Alaskans that Haycox is trying to enlighten look         Finally, intergovernmental organizations may at times have
                                    back for the most part and see their histories in the southern   an adversarial relationship with each other.
                                    48. Their institutions, their constitution, their melting pot                                          — Salvatore Lombardo
                                    are goals to strive for rather than recognized as colonizing                                                     Siena College
                                    forces. Their vision is skewed. They identify with the colo-     12-1-0089
                                    nizers. They are thus misled, remaining disadvantaged in a       McCaffrey, Katherine T. Military Power and Popular
                                    resource-rich state. They believe the American myth as evi-      Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
                                    denced by the trappings of popular and commercial culture        Piscataway, N.J.: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2002. 219 pp. ISBN 0-
                                    all around them.                                                 8135-3090-3, $60.00 (cl); 0-8135-3091-1, $22.00 (pb).
                                        A wise Nuu-chah-nulth chief observed that “Institutions
                                    must serve people, and not the other way around.” Haycox            Vieques, a 51-square-mile island six miles off the coast of
                                    asks for this type of understanding, an understanding that       Puerto Rico and part of the Roosevelt Roads naval complex,
                                    the Makah demonstrate in their reclamations.                     has become a lightning rod for U.S. relations with Puerto
                                        These books point to the need for understanding the          Rico within the last few years. Used as an ammunition depot
                                    reclamation of history by peoples as a means to a more self-     and bombing range, the island is dominated by the navy,
                                    directed present and self-determined future. Haycox main-        which controls about 23,000 acres, making it physically the
                                    tains that a better sense of history can help contemporary       largest military installation in the world. Taking both ends
                                    Alaskans make more informed political choices; Erickson          of the island, the navy has squeezed the impoverished civil-
                                    reports that when a people understand their own history          ian population into the center. Promises to improve the lives
                                    they can indeed develop their own agenda.                        of the residents and growing concerns over the health conse-
                                                              — Marlene Atleo (Nuu-chah-nulth)       quences of the agent used in the bombs have gone ignored.
                                                                                     Nanaimo, B.C.   Then, in April 1999, a navy jet inadvertently dropped its
                                                                                                     bombs on an observation post, killing a civilian employee.
                                    12-1-0088                                                        The death awoke the smoldering discontent into vocifer-
                                    Iriye, Akira. Global Community: The Role of                      ous protests and confrontations that eventually resulted in
                                    International Organizations in the Making of the                 President Clinton calling a temporary halt to the bombing.
                                    Contemporary World. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press,            McCaffrey, of Montclair State University, has provided
                                    2002. 255 pp. ISBN 0-520-23127-9, $29.95.                        an excellent overview of the problem on Vieques. Especially
                                                                                                     important are the chapters on the relationship between the
                                        Are international affairs the result of the interplay of     residents and the military, the development of grassroots
                                    nations that try to advance their interests? Iriye considers     mobilization, the Fisherman’s War, and the events since
                                    this definition limited because it ignores the important role    1999. This is a worthwhile book that sheds light on U.S. mili-
                                    played by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organi-          tarism and modern colonialism. It is highly recommended.
                                    zations in the international arena.                                                                       — James C. Harrison
                                        The author, a historian, discusses the development, activ-                                                    Siena College
                                    ities, and impact on world affairs of organizations that have
                                    focused on humanitarian relief, cultural exchange, peace         12-1-0090
                                    and disarmament, developmental assistance, human rights,         Pelly, David F. Sacred Hunt: A Portrait of the Relationship
                                    and environmentalism. Because of the important role they         between Seals and Inuit. Seattle: Univ. of Washington
                                    have played in the international arena, and because they         Press, 2002. 144 pp. Illus. ISBN 0-295-98164-4, $27.50.
                                    play an even more essential role in the age of globalization,
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    they deserve close attention.                                        Pelly unrolls a wonderful cultural tapestry woven with
                                        This is an important book that is bound to change the        the indigenous principles of reverence, respect, relations,
                                    perspective of those who have a traditional view of interna-     and responsibility. Through myths, legends, rituals, and tra-
                                    tional affairs. In fact, the author argues that international    ditions, he reveals the construction of the world of the Inuit
                                    organizations have the potential to form a “human commu-         and the Arctic seal. He shows the depth and breadth of their
                                    nity…sharing the same concerns and seeking to solve them         relations, the physicality and spirituality shared by the hunt-
                                    through cooperative endeavors.” However, while the author        ers and the seals. Pelly has created a likeness of the dance of
                                    clearly defines both intergovernmental and nongovern-            life and death that has been the survival story of both the
                                    mental international organizations, the discussion of their      hunter and his “guest” through which the Inuit cultures




86
were created and sustained. The portrait, austere and mov-        ingly visible, visionary, and robust queer Jewish culture.
ing, is simultaneously simple and complex. The very breath           Essayists include scholars and writers of various back-
of life marks the beginning and end of life. The relationship     grounds, genders, and sexual identities, whose entries probe
between them is different from the Western concept of the         the existing challenges and successes of negotiating the space
hunter and his victim/quarry/prey. The visuals—etchings,          between religious/cultural Jewish observance and sexuality
carvings, paintings—and words, photos, and stories show us        within the queer Jewish community. Judaism is arguably the
how these truly belong to each other, each embodying the          most welcoming to gays/lesbians of all major religions; yet,
other.                                                            while queer Jews are successfully adapting to and influenc-
   Pelly brings the spirit of the relationship into the fore-     ing the shape of Jewish institutions, there are tensions. As
ground. The sacred, respectful dance of life is demonstrated      the editors point out, Jewish tradition admonishes Jewish
on these pages with insight and reverence. Pelly has faithfully   people to be a “light unto nations.” This historical impera-
conveyed a sense of the sacredness of this relationship from      tive and moral responsibility logically positions queer Jews
the perspective of Inuit hunters and possibly from the seals      as agents for change.
as well.                                                             Readers will recognize “A-list” contributors such as Leslea
                          — Marlene Atleo (Nuu-chah-nulth)        Newman, Jonathan Krasner, Avi Rose, Christie Balka, Joan
                                                Nanaimo, B.C.     Nestle, Sandi Simcha Dubowski, as well as the lesser known.
12-1-0091                                                         Queer Jews have taken up the charge to influence institu-
Sawhney, Deepak Narang, ed. Unmasking L.A.: Third                 tionalized perspectives to acknowledge and accept what the
Worlds and the City. New York: St. Martin’s/Palgrave,             diverse queer Jewish experience has to offer the status quo.
2002. 266 pp. ISBN 0-312-24049-X, $59.95 (cl); 0-312-29289-       Accessible, intellectual, and socially perceptive, Queer Jews is
9, $24.95 (pb).                                                   recommended for both academic and large public libraries.
                                                                                                              — Elsa A. Bruguier
    If you are looking for an odd collection of poems, essays,                                 Union County (N.J.) College Library
and photographs about Los Angeles and the concept of “Third
Worlds,” this book is for you. However, I found this work to      12-1-0093
be an overly ideological and narcissistic exercise in intellec-   Suárez-Orozco, Marcelo M. and Paez, Mariela, eds. Latinos:
tual self-indulgence that illuminates little about the history    Remaking America. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press,
and societal issues of past or contemporary Los Angeles. The      2002. 494 pp. ISBN 0-520-23486-3, $55.00 (cl); 0-520-23487-1,
editor has written an introductory essay and has authored         $19.95 (pb).
or coauthored several of the entries. Unfortunately, the first
essay fails to explain the purpose of the book.                      This excellent collection of essays is a must for anyone
    Of the 15 chapters in this volume, I would recommend          interested in the impact of immigration from Latin America
four as worth the time to evaluate the ideas expressed by the     on American society, especially in the last 40 years. The
authors. Joseph Nevins, “Third World and ‘Illegal,’” provides     accounts of different Latino groups and different aspects of
an intriguing look at the issue of illegal immigration from a     the Latino experience in the United States are introduced by
leftist perspective, as does Paul Von Blum’s essay on “resis-     a carefully nuanced opening essay explaining the research
tance art.” Morrow Mayo writes an odd little piece on the         agenda and reasons for the individual selections.
birth of Los Angeles, and the editor does a better job of sum-       Part I deals with histories, migrations, and communities and
marizing some of the issues his collection raises in “Forces      provides the background of the Latino communities. Some are
of Nature.” Readers interested in the editor’s ideological        comparative, like Juan Flores’s article on Caribbean Latinos,
perspective or those obsessed with Los Angeles may find this      which looks at Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans.
collection of value, but for everyone else it is a boring waste   Others focus on one major community, such as Alex and
of time.                                                          Carol Dutton Stepick’s splendid overview of the experiences
                                            — Harvey J. Strum     of Miami’s Cubans. My one criticism is that they have under-
                                The Sage Colleges, Albany, N.Y.   estimated the role of the Cubans in the national political
                                                                                                                                     MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


                                                                  discourse, especially under Republican administrations. Also, I
12-1-0092                                                         think that Patricia Gandara could have been more detailed on
Shneer, David and Aviv, Caryn, eds. Queer Jews. New York:         the debate over education and bilingualism and placed it into
Routledge, 2002. 288 pp. ISBN 0-415-93167-3, $19.95 (pb).         the historical context. The best essay is the groundbreaking
                                                                  research of John Trumpbour and Elaine Bernard on unions
    Queer Jews shines a light on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-   and Latinos, a neglected area of labor history.
gender Jewish thinking, and points a beacon in the direction         I would urge all academic libraries and all public libraries
it’s headed. This exploration of the bliss and struggles of       with an interest in ethnicity or immigration to purchase this
being Jewish and “queer,” an umbrella term to include the         collection. This book is yet another affirmation of the contri-
expanding spectrum of sexual identity, highlights an increas-     butions of Suárez-Orozco to immigration and Latino studies.




                                                                                                                                       87
                                    t continued social & political sciences reviews

                                                                              — Harvey J. Strum      out the competing and conflicting nature of the Red Cross
                                                                   The Sage Colleges, Albany, N.Y.   principles for providing humanitarian aid: the humanitarian
                                    12-1-0094                                                        imperative, neutrality, impartiality, and independence.
                                    Swain, Carol M. The New White Nationalism in America:               Terry calls for an ethical imperative for providing humani-
                                    Its Challenge to Integration. New York: Cambridge Univ.          tarian aid and for the UN and nongovernmental aid organi-
                                    Press, 2002. 526 pp. ISBN 0-521-80886-3, $30.00.                 zations (NGOs) to be prepared to deny aid during a conflict
                                                                                                     when it can do more harm than good. However, she also
                                       Swain predicts major conflicts over race and ethnicity,       acknowledges and discusses the reasons why NGOs do not
                                    with a focus on the former. Her study of modern white            learn from past experiences. This book raises difficult ques-
                                    nationalist groups suggests that two factors signal increasing   tions that need to be addressed in our civil-conflict-ridden
                                    potential for major racial clashes. First, there is increasing   era.
                                    malaise over the impending demographic change in the                                                            — Jean M. Stern
                                    United States, from a white majority to a white minority,                                                           Siena College
                                    along with increasing opposition to racially based affirmative
                                    action programs. These factors, plus others, are coupled with    12-1-0096
                                    the change in white nationalist movements from dogmatic          Welch, Michael. Detained: Immigration Laws and the
                                    and violent organizations appealing to lower-class whites to     Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex. Philadelphia: Temple
                                    educated, articulate groups and leaders with increasing skills   Univ. Press, 2002. 272 pp. ISBN 1-56639-977-7, $59.50 (cl);
                                    in using the modern technology of the Internet to recruit        1-56639-978-5, $18.95 (pb).
                                    college-educated followers and to develop a broader-based            Welch offers a different view on immigration. Instead of
                                    constituency.                                                    focusing on pros and cons of the immigration debate, the
                                       Using survey data and interviews as well as a rich com-       author analyzes actions taken by the INS when it puts immi-
                                    bination of other materials, Swain convincingly presents         gration laws into practice, a practice that seems unbelievably
                                    evidence that liberal approaches, with their ham-handed          harsh to immigrants, whether legal or illegal, and their fami-
                                    reliance on governmental regulation, have ignored the com-       lies.
                                    plexity of American thought on various unresolved issues             Welch uses experiences of immigrants to show how the
                                    of race. For example, while educational organizations and        INS works by focusing on the changes made to the immigra-
                                    government continue to rely on, or at least advocate, racial     tion law in 1996. The stories are examples from different
                                    quotas for college admission, they ignore the opposition of      parts of the law and how the INS interprets them. Welch
                                    the American public to such quotas. Swain points out that        makes one think about human rights (do they apply to
                                    Americans, while opposing racially based standards, nev-         immigrants?) and democracy. It seems that for politicians
                                    ertheless are quite willing to expand admission criteria to      and the INS, detention is the only answer to many immigra-
                                    include applicant backgrounds, struggles, and exceptional        tion problems. How did the INS get there? Welch’s answer
                                    contributions. Her recommendations are many, including           is “moral panic,” his interesting theoretical approach to the
                                    the need for reasoned public dialogue.                           mistrust immigrants face. But most importantly, the book
                                                                               — Carol Ann Traut     offers insights about the changes in the immigration discus-
                                                                     Univ. of Texas, Permian Basin   sion since September 11. I consider this book a significant
                                                                                                     contribution to the literature. It will be a valuable tool for
                                    12-1-0095                                                        discussions in graduate courses, specifically in political sci-
                                    Terry, Fiona. Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of                ence, sociology, and criminal justice.
                                    Humanitarian Action. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press,                                                    — Astrid Eich-Krohm
                                    2002. 282 pp. ISBN 0-8014-3960-4, $42.50 (cl); 0-8014-8796-X,                                  State Univ. of New York at Albany
                                    $19.95 (pb).
                                                                                                     Reference
                                       From an insider’s vantage point, Terry examines the
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    unintended negative consequences of providing humani-            12-1-0097
                                    tarian assistance to the victims in internal conflicts. Terry,   Beardwood, Mary. The Children’s Encyclopedia of Arabia.
                                    the director of research for Médecins sans Frontières, uses      Northampton, Mass.: Interlink/Stacey International, 2002.
                                    four well-documented case studies: Afghan refugee camps          152 pp. Illus. ISBN 1-900988-33-X, $29.95.
                                    in Pakistan, Nicaraguan and Salvadoran refugee camps in
                                    Honduras, Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand, and                  An impressive quality of this book is the large array of facts,
                                    Rwandan refugee camps in Congo. She shows how the pro-           both verbal and visual, contained on every page—yet without
                                    vision of aid may actually prolong the conflict by providing     the appearance of clutter or confusion. The design allows the
                                    financial resources to the parties and may endanger refugees     reader to focus on one item at a time while taking in a wealth
                                    whose camps become havens for combatants and/or human            of information, colorfully and attractively displayed.
                                    resources for the forced recruitment of soldiers. She points        The first part of the book focuses on the past—archaeol-


88
ogy, incense routes, days of sail and spice trade—and then               Johnson provides in-depth information on the lives
aspects of traditional life, such as the pearl industry, Bedouin    of over 100 American Indians who have made significant
customs, and camel racing. A large section describing the           contributions to American Indian spiritual life. Descriptive
flora and fauna of the Arabian Peninsula will fascinate young       narratives with up-to-date information and research on a
naturalists. The outstanding fact of modern Arabia—the oil          diverse range of contemporary and historical figures detail
industry—is treated in a brief conclusion. What some readers        each individual’s early years, education, career highlights,
might wish to see more of is human activity, especially female;     contributions, and impact on Native society.
yet this relative absence reflects a society (specifically Saudi        The subjects, including well-known Native leaders like
Arabia) where women, regardless of education and accom-             Geronimo, Black Elk, Sitting Bull, Quanah Parker, and
plishment, are still kept from public view.                         Wavoka, are intriguing and spur the reader to examine the
   The work of an English author with many years’ experience        broad continuum of American Indian spiritual history. The
in the Arabian Peninsula, the encyclopedia makes a valuable         earliest individual represented is from the mid-fourteenth
addition to libraries’ geographical collections and offers plea-    century, and the most recent is from the 1930s. The two- to
surable casual reading for all ages.                                three-page narratives include a description of the subject’s
                                                 — Elsa Marston     life and leadership, plus suggested readings and electronic
                                                Bloomington, Ind.   source listings. The appendixes list the individuals by birth
                                                                    date and by tribal affiliation. This book is recommended as
12-1-0098                                                           a good source for researching specific Native American spiri-
Fernekes, William R., ed. The Oryx Holocaust Sourcebook.            tual leaders or healers.
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2002. 408 pp. ISBN 1-53756-                                                  — Maggie Necefer (Diné)
295-5, $55.95.                                                                                                        Diné College
                                                                    12-1-0100
    This volume is a comprehensive (over 1,500 entries),            Kapiszewski, Diana, ed. The Encyclopedia of Latin
timely, very well organized, and copiously annotated                American Politics. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2002.
research and teaching reference tool. It includes general           384 pp. ISBN 1-53756-306-4, $74.95.
print resources (encyclopedias, bibliographies, atlases, nar-
rative histories, drama, fiction, poetry, books for children,           This work covers politics in Latin America and the Caribbean
periodicals), primary sources (collections and anthologies of       for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The last part of the
documents, first-person accounts, and biographies), general         latter century receives the bulk of coverage, and within this
electronic resources (databases, World Wide Web sites, elec-        period the focus is primarily on the most prominent holders of
tronic resources, CD-ROMs, vendors), audiovisual resources          executive positions, political parties (listed in English followed
(photographs, films, videotapes, audiobooks, music, art col-        by vernacular and acronym), and sociopolitical phenomena.
lections), educational and teaching materials, and U.S. and         The book’s sections are organized in alphabetical order by
international institutions and organizations concerned with         country, with an average of 12 to 20 pages devoted to each
the Holocaust.                                                      nation. Entries begin with a summary of CIA World Factbook
    Given the book’s scope and undeniable value, it is regret-      data: official name of the country, constitutional organization,
table and surprising to note the following omissions. These         geography, population, and various statistics. There follows
include the Holocaust experience in several European coun-          a summary of the country’s history, accompanied by a map.
tries, such as Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, and Serbia,      Each section concludes with a list of heads of state since inde-
as well as in the African countries of Algeria, Morocco,            pendence, indicating years in office; an unannotated bibliog-
and Tunisia. In the encyclopedia section, Encyclopedia of           raphy; and descriptions of Internet resources.
Holocaust Literature, a book put out by Oryx Press in 2002              The closing part of the book includes two appendices. The
shortly before the publication of the volume under review, is       first offers five pages of one-paragraph entries on multilateral
not included. In the “Country Listings of Holocaust Related         agreements, groupings, organizations, and wars; the second is
Organizations,” several current Jewish community organiza-          on U.S. policies and organizations for Latin America. The vol-
                                                                                                                                          MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


tions in Romania, Moldova, Morocco, and Tunisia with well-          ume was organized at the Center for Latin American Studies
known addresses are missing. In addition, there are spelling        at Georgetown University. Most of the contributors are not
errors in the index and other sections.                             well-known scholars but have an affiliation with Georgetown
                                     — Vladimir F. Wertsman         or other institutions in the D.C. area. This reference book will
                                               New York, N.Y.       primarily be of use in public and college libraries.
12-1-0099                                                                                                     — Edward A. Riedinger
Johnson, Troy R. Distinguished Native American                                                               Ohio State Univ. Libraries
Healers and Spiritual Practitioners. Westport, Conn.:
Greenwood, 2002. 304 pp. ISBN 1-57356-358-7, $69.95.                12-1-0101
                                                                    Klein, Martin A. Historical Dictionary of Slavery and




                                                                                                                                            89
                                    t continued reference reviews

                                    Abolition. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2002. 350 pp.                 a chronological list of independence declarations and both
                                    ISBN 0-8108-4102-9, $55.00.                                            a geographical and an organizational listing of stateless
                                                                                                           groups. A useful index facilitates easy access to the contents
                                        This book is part of a series entitled “Historical Dictionaries    of the four volumes. The editor must be commended for
                                    of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements.” The author has             compiling this unique reference work, which provides so
                                    previously written extensively about slavery, abolition, and           much hard-to-find and little known information on this
                                    Africa in addition to holding numerous collegiate faculty              topic.
                                    positions. This unique and in-depth background gives the                                                        — Donald Altschiller
                                    volume a clarity and consistency rarely found in a small                                                                  Boston Univ.
                                    volume.
                                        The text includes a chronology of the subject matter,              12-1-0103
                                    ranging from 3200 B.C. until the early 1990s. Following the            Nelson, Emmanuel S. African American Autobiographers:
                                    chronology is an extensive introductory essay. The main                A Sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2002. 432 pp.
                                    section of the text consists of short alphabetically arranged          ISBN 0-313-31409-8, $94.95.
                                    entries that cover a myriad of topics pertaining to historical
                                    and world events. Entries include ancient Roman slavery,                   The 67 individuals covered in this bio-bibliography range
                                    the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Sahara.                              from the famous (Maya Angelou) to the obscure (Nancy
                                        The institution of slavery has affected the world for cen-         Gardner Prince), from the prolific (Richard Wright) to the
                                    turies. It is deep-rooted and has influenced economics, labor,         authors of a single work (Mary Seacole). In every case the
                                    religion, and politics. Unfortunately, the injustices of slavery       African-American subjects wrote or dictated an autobiogra-
                                    still exist in our contemporary world. This makes this text            phy.
                                    relevant and timely. Recommended for college libraries.                    Each article begins with a biography section that briefly
                                                                                 — Anthony Todman          outlines the person’s life, followed by an “autobiographi-
                                                                       St. John’s Univ. (N.Y.) Libraries   cal works and themes” section that critically addresses the
                                    12-1-0102                                                              subject’s autobiographical writings only. The critical reception
                                    Minahan, James. Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations.                 of the individual’s writings over time is summarized, and the
                                    Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2002. 4 vols., 2,000 pp. ISBN              sketches end with a two-part bibliography listing the subject’s
                                    0-313-31617-1, $475.00.                                                autobiographical writings followed by a list of critical studies.
                                                                                                               Nelson’s brief introduction states that his objective is to
                                        With the Arab-Israeli conflict dominating the news, one            provide an “introduction to the autobiographical tradition
                                    could easily assume that it is one of the few world conflicts          in African American writing” from the earliest up to the
                                    involving a struggle for political statehood. Yet there are            1990s. His “purpose is to provide reliable, thorough and
                                    literally hundreds of self-defined ethnic groups striving for          up-to-date” information for each of the subjects. To a great
                                    national sovereignty. Some of these conflicts are violent and          extent he has succeeded, although some of the pieces are
                                    receive some press coverage—the Kashmiris and the Basques,             not as well written as could be hoped. The contributors are
                                    for example—but the aspirations and struggles of the vast              mostly professors and graduate students.
                                    majority of groups, ranging from Sahrawis in northwest                     A chronological arrangement (or at least an appendix
                                    Africa to Arabistanis in Iran, are generally unknown.                  listing) would have been better than the strict alphabetical
                                        In this updated and greatly expanded sequel to his                 arrangement used.
                                    1996 work, Nations Without States: A Historical Dictionary of                                                      — Sean P. Maloney
                                    Contemporary National Movements, the editor has compiled a                                                                Siena College
                                    work on more than 350 national groups wanting political
                                    independence. Three criteria are used for inclusion: self-iden-        12-1-0104
                                    tity as a distinctive group; the use of outward symbols, such          Rappaport, Helen. Encyclopedia of Women Social
                                    as flags; and nationalist political organizations that espouse         Reformers. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. 2002. 2 vols.,
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    self-determination. In restricting the entries to groups meet-         888 pp. ISBN 1-57607-101-4, $185.00.
                                    ing all three criteria, the editor notes that he has included
                                    only a small fraction of the estimated 9,000 stateless peoples            This new reference book will fill a long-felt gap in
                                    throughout the world. Arranged alphabetically by group,                biography collections by providing timely and pertinent
                                    each entry includes a population estimate (unfortunately,              information on women reformers around the world. The
                                    some are wildly inflated, such as the Palestinian Arabs), a            author’s effort to include women from as many cultures and
                                    survey of the geographical homeland, a national history,               countries as possible will enable students to find material on
                                    and an illustration and description of the flag. Especially            subjects that were formerly inaccessible.
                                    useful is a select bibliography at the end of each section. The           Rappaport deliberately chose to omit some English and
                                    book concludes with some excellent appendices, including               American women who can be found in other sources in




90
order to provide material on women about whom informa-              religion relationships in the world today. Iran is presented as
tion is scarce. She has focused on the period from the French       the model theocratic state, with government almost totally
Revolution to the mid-1970s, with a few more recent figures,        subservient to the religious authorities. China is posited as the
such as Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, whose story is still           state where religion is completely controlled by the organs of
being played out.                                                   the government. The United States is cited as a country that
   Lists of reformers by country and by cause precede the           has a blend somewhere between these two extremes.
biographies and will help to link biographees who were                  There is a chronology dating from 1750 B.C. up through
involved in specific causes, such as antislavery or women’s         2001. A section of biographical sketches intended as a “rep-
suffrage. Each biographical sketch is followed by a bibliog-        resentative sample” covers foreign and domestic religious
raphy, which will prove helpful to students seeking further         figures, from Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa to Sun
information about the subjects.                                     Myung Moon and Osama bin Laden, whose face graces the
   Biographical entries are well written, crisp, and concise        cover. An almost worthless section of statistics (3 tables) and
but long enough to be read for enjoyment. This excellent            quotations is followed by a more useful list of organizations.
source belongs in every library specializing in social history      There is an extensive annotated list of print and audiovisual
or women’s studies.                                                 resources that is quite up-to-date. It closes with a very brief
                                             — Miriam Sawyer        list of Internet sites and a glossary.
                                 Rutherford (N.J.) Public Library       Despite its useful aspects, this work tries to cover too
12-1-0105                                                           much ground and would have been better had it concen-
Stevens, Payson R.; Levine, Charles M.; and Steinmetz, Sol.         trated on only one or two types of these entries.
Meshuggenary: Celebrating the World of Yiddish. New                                                             — Sean P. Maloney
York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. 224 pp. ISBN 0-7432-2742-5,                                                               Siena College
$21.00.
                                                                    12-1-0107
    I loved the idea of this book, which is to celebrate all that   Watkins, Mel, ed. African American Humor: The Best
is Yiddish: the language, people, culture, and humor. It adds       Black Comedy from Slavery to Today. Chicago: Lawrence
to Leo Rosten’s classics yet brings Yiddish into the new mil-       Hill, 2002. 374 pp. ISBN 1-55652-431-5, $18.95 (pb).
lennium by adding google.com’s top Yiddish words.                       Tracing the history of African-American comedy from
    The chapters include Yiddish-English for Everyone; S-           slavery to the present, Watkins’s collection of anecdotes,
words: Put-downs without Peer; Yiddish Humor; The Heart             folktales, stand-up bits, tales, poems, and snaps splits into
of Yiddish Vocabulary; Yiddish Literature: Proverbs and             four sections: slavery, emancipation to the Roaring Twenties,
Sayings; Expressions; Food and Cooking; and The Story of            the Harlem Renaissance to the Fifties, and Civil Rights to
Yiddish Theater and Music.                                          the present. The literary names such as Hurston and Hughes
    I smiled to myself as I read Yiddish terms and expres-          should be familiar to all, but older readers will enjoy reread-
sions I hadn’t heard in 30 years: Curses and sayings my             ing Moms Mabley, Mantan Moreland, and their contempo-
grandmother used when she didn’t want her grandchildren             raries. The younger generation is rather underrepresented.
to understand; wickedly funny expressions and terms that            Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, and Chris Rock are featured, but
make Yiddish so appealing and powerful.                             Martin Lawrence, Whoopi Goldberg, Marsha Warfield, and
    The chapter on Yiddish Literature was excellent, and the        others are missing.
one on Yiddish Food and Cooking covered all my favorites,               Entries are less than a page long, and librarians should
so how much more can I ask of any book? The only disap-             be aware that the language and content may not always
pointing chapter was the one on humor, which I found a              be appropriate for younger or more sensitive readers. As
little tired and goyish.                                            Watkins’s commentary is minimal, most readers will sim-
    Anyone who loves Yiddish will love this book. I plan to         ply enjoy the humor collected herein. A good complement
keep my copy next to Rosten. In fact, when I need to look           to Watkins’s On the Real Side: A History of African American
up a Yiddish expression, I will first try Meshuggenary.             Comedy (Lawrence Hill, 1999) and D. C. Dance’s huge Honey,
                                                                                                                                        MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


                                               — Joel Bergman       Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women’s Humor
                                                 New York, N.Y.     (Norton, 1998), this title is highly recommended for all pub-
12-1-0106                                                           lic and academic libraries.
Storey, John W. and Utter, Glenn H. Religion and Politics:                                                        — Anthony Adam
A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO,                                              Library, Prairie View A&M Univ.
2002. 343 pp. Series: Contemporary World Issues. ISBN 1-
57607-218-5, $45.00.                                                12-1-0108
                                                                    York, Sherry. Children’s and Young Adult Literature
   On a topic of great interest, the authors have brought           by Latino Writers: A Guide for Librarians, Teachers,
together current information that will be of use to a wide vari-    Parents, and Students. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth.
ety of people. The introduction discusses three types of state/     2002. 192 pp. ISBN 1-58683-062-7, $36.95 (pb).



                                                                                                                                          91
                                    t continued juvenile reviews

                                                                                                                                       — Margarita González-Jensen
                                        Using the same format as her Picture Books by Latino                                               Arizona State Univ. West
                                    Writers (2002), the author has produced another valuable
                                    reference tool that lists just about everything else for young     12-1-0110
                                    readers: chapter books, short stories, folklore, drama, poetry,    Badoe, Adwoa. Nana’s Cold Days. Toronto: Groundwood/
                                    and nonfiction. All authors are people in the United States        Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Bushra Junaid.
                                    “whose cultural heritage is related to the Spanish language.”      ISBN 0-88899-479-6, $15.95.
                                    Each citation includes bibliographic information, a very
                                    brief summary, review sources, and (if applicable) awards,             Badoe, the author of the well-regarded collection of Ananse
                                    tests, genre, characters, and setting. Since all interest and      stories Pot of Wisdom, has written another delightful tale.
                                    reading levels culled from reviews are included, the range             In this heart-warming picture book, Ken and Rama, who
                                    of ages or grades is sometimes too broad to be useful in rec-      live somewhere in North America, are excited about their
                                    ommending titles. The nonfiction citations cover the range         grandmother Nana’s visit. Nana arrives from a warm African
                                    of Dewey numbers, with most concentrated in the Social             country in the dead of winter and announces, “It’s too cold
                                    Sciences, Fine Arts, Literature, and Geography & History.          for living things.” She buries herself under a pile of sheets,
                                    Additional chapters include resources for teachers, informa-       blankets, and comforters. To make matters worse she devel-
                                    tion about the writers and publishers, and an index.               ops a bad cough that “sounded like a barking dog.” The doc-
                                        Twenty or 30 years go, we saw the blossoming of reference      tor examines her and declares that Nana has the croup. “The
                                    books about African-American children’s and young adult            best cure for croup is the cold winter breeze.” Nana throws
                                    literature. Demographics show strong growth in the Latino          the covers off, opens the windows, breathes fresh air, and
                                    population. This book is therefore the first, but certainly not    announces, “Now that I know that this cold air is good for
                                    the last, of its kind. It sets a good benchmark for subsequent     some things, I’ll be outside tomorrow making snow angels.”
                                    publications about Latino books for young people.                  The book is well written and the pictures are bold and color-
                                                                                  — Jendy Murphy       ful and complement the humor in the story.
                                                                               Albany Public Library       The only problem this reviewer had with the story is the
                                    Juvenile                                                           failure to specify a particular country rather than just Africa;
                                                                                                       it perpetuates the stubborn notion of Africa as a country
                                    Primary (Gr. P-3)                                                  rather than a continent with different countries and climatic
                                                                                                       regions, a notion we teachers work so hard to dispel. This
                                    12-1-0109                                                          flaw, however, will not take away from the joy young readers
                                    Andrews-Goebel, Nancy. The Pot That Juan Built. New                will get from reading this book.
                                    York: Lee & Low, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by David Díaz. ISBN 1-                                                     — Lesego Malepe
                                    58430-038-8, $16.95.                                                                                               Brookline, Mass.

                                       This cumulative pattern book is about a wonderful               12-1-0111
                                    Mexican potter named Juan Quezada. The author gives the            Caraballo, Samuel. Estrellita se despide de su isla/
                                    usual cumulative pattern a twist by starting with the finished     Estrellita Says Good-bye to Her Island. Houston, Tex.:
                                    product and taking the reader back to the original clay used       Piñata Books, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Pablo Torrecilla. Bilingual
                                    to make it. The different steps used to create the pots are told   (Spanish-English) ed. ISBN 1-55885-338-3, $14.95.
                                    in rhyming fashion. The author includes several animals—a
                                    burro, a cat, a rooster, and even ants—in the story, and these     Pérez, Amada Irma. My Diary from Here to There/Mi
                                    will help keep children interested as they follow along.           diario de aquí hasta allá. San Francisco: Children’s
                                       The pattern story appears on the left side of each spread       Book Press, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Maya Christina González.
                                    and a factual account of the process is described on the right     Bilingual (English-Spanish) ed. Spanish translation by
                                    side. Therefore, one could view this as a double book due          Consuelo Hernández. ISBN 0-89239-175-8, $16.95.
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    to the narrative detailing Juan’s early days as a potter and
                                    how his craft is famous today. Finally, the author includes a         Two bilingual picture books about immigration from
                                    biographical afterword with even more information on the           Latin America, a subject of great interest to many read-
                                    potter, which seems to be “filler” due to its repetitive nature.   ers: one book follows the diary format, a genre that has
                                    Nevertheless, it can be useful in a classroom in a variety of      become very popular during the last decade; the other
                                    ways, from shared reading to a resource book for social stud-      book is a “lamento”—a lament. This is a genre practiced in
                                    ies or science.                                                    the Caribbean, especially in Puerto Rico, where the most
                                       The illustrations are classic Díaz, with bold colors, styl-     famous lamento of all times—Lamento Borincano by Rafael
                                    ized images, and Hispanic patterns that reflect many of the        Hernández—was written about 70 years ago.
                                    motifs of the potter’s works.                                         Estrellita Says Good-bye to Her Island is about a little girl




92
who is leaving Puerto Rico and is bidding farewell to the             This book is uplifting, encouraging, and easy to read.
things she loves: the sunny beaches, the emerald forests, the     Although life on earth has boundaries, there is no limit to
multicolored roosters, and the coqui, an almost transparent       the beauty of bonding with one’s Creator. Through the illus-
frog found only in Puerto Rico. Her lament is written in four-    trations and words, prayers are shown as both public and
line stanzas that are poetic, sentimental, easy to read, and      silent, songs that are sung, cried, dreamed, danced, walked,
all too beautiful and moving. It is clearly the lament of an      or thought. Readers of this book will realize that it is possible
adult, revisiting separation from the island through the eyes     to think “outside the box” of limitations that we may set for
of a child and longing for a return. The illustrations capture    ourselves when we get too discouraged about our lives.
the “greenness” of the Caribbean in a style reminiscent of                                                 — Hannah M. Heller
greeting cards, an artistic choice that makes sense since one                                      Pern’s Judaica, Baltimore, Md.
usually sends a card to someone far away. In this instance,
this picture book becomes a greeting card sent by the author      12-1-0113
to his beloved island.                                            Hinojosa, Tish. Cada Niño/Every Child: A Bilingual
    My Diary from Here to There recounts the author’s depar-      Songbook for Kids. El Paso, Tex.: Cinco Puntos Press,
ture from Mexico to the United States. The narrator, a young      2002. 56 pp. Illus. by Lucia Angela Perez. Bilingual (English-
girl, tells about her sadness on leaving her village, her jour-   Spanish) edition. ISBN 0-938317-60-1, $18.95.
ney across the border, and her fears of life in the United
States. A salient theme is her homesickness and her longing          A collection of 11 new songs for Hispanic children is
for her father, who traveled to the north first, searching        something to sing about! Most of the songs were composed
for a job. It is a happy story, ending with the girl reuniting    by Hinojosa and therefore carry her brand of bicultural sen-
with her father and hinting at a successful life in the United    timents and use of Spanish and English combined. Many
States. The illustrations have a comic-book quality that is       of the songs were written for the author’s children. They
attractive and will appeal to young children. The artist has      describe her feelings and emotions for them and reflect her
made a point to endow the characters with Mexican-Indian          well-known folk music background. The song titles reflect
features, thus adding a touch of reality to a well-told story.                            childhood themes, but in many cases
Both picture books make for satisfying reading and demon-                                 the lyrics derive from adult perspec-
strate that separation from the homeland is a painful process                             tives and thoughts. However, “The
experienced by children, a process that is never forgotten,                               Barnyard Dance,” about crazy danc-
regardless of how long the child remains in the United States                             ing vegetables, is an exception sure to
as an adult.                                                                              delight a child’s vivid imagination.
                                       — Danilo H. Figueredo                                 Each song is provided with the
                                     Bloomfield College Library                           music, the bilingual lyrics, and
                                                                                          delightful illustrations by first-time
12-1-0112                                                                                 children’s artist Perez. For those chil-
Edelman, Marian Wright. I’m Your Child, God: Prayers                                      dren      who
for Our Children. New York: Hyperion, 2002. 32 pp. Illus.         might be learning to play the guitar,
by Bryan Collier. ISBN 0-7868-8059-7, $19.99.                     an index showing the chords is also
                                                                  included.
   Communicating with G-d is an important part of the life               — Margarita González-Jensen
of children as they grow up nurturing dreams, hopes, and                       Arizona State Univ. West
expectations. The inspiration of those who dare to dream,
to hope, and to pray for a better tomorrow can give children      12-1-0114
the motivation to make the effort to improve their world.         hooks, bell. Be Boy Buzz. New
   The book is divided into sections of prayers for younger       York: Hyperion/Jump at the Sun,
children, older children, special occasions, struggle and         2002. unp. Illus. by Chris Raschka.
                                                                                                                                      MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


strength, and traditional prayers. Each section is greatly        ISBN 0-7868-0814-4. $16.99.
enhanced by colorful illustrations and the vivid facial
expressions of the children portrayed in each prayer.             hooks, bell. Homemade Love. New York: Hyperion/Jump
   African-American children are motivated to pray realizing      at the Sun, 2002. unp. Illus. by Shane W. Evans. ISBN 0-
the special gifts of Martin Luther King Jr., Aretha Franklin,     7868-0643-5, $16.99.
Marian Anderson, and other leaders in their community. In
a prayer for peace, the child prays for peace not only in our       These two picture books for very young readers deliver
country but also throughout the world, and for an end to          more than just fun read-aloud stories. They celebrate love
world hunger.                                                     and life, and in particular, self-love. Hooks, a renowned




                                                                                                                                        93
                                    t continued juvenile (gr. p-3) reviews

                                    African-American feminist writer, has once again written                 free.
                                    books that are sure to boost a young child’s self-esteem. Like               Although this story has a valuable message, it contains lit-
                                    her first children’s book, Happy to be Nappy, hooks encour-              tle information about Ethiopia. The mountainous Ethiopian
                                    ages young children to cherish themselves.                               terrain has little snow or ice. The mountain becomes a figure
                                        Homemade Love reveals scenes of a girl reveling in life and          of speech for most readers. Likewise, the cultivation of cot-
                                    in the unconditional love of her parents. She clearly feels              ton is not typical of Ethiopia. Today the major crop is cof-
                                    special and says her family calls her by such affectionate               fee.
                                    terms of endearment as Girlpie and Honey Bun Chocolate                       Vanden Broeck creates a mood for this story by his illus-
                                    Dew Drop. While she takes joy in the simplicity of life, she             trations, but his images of characters and of the community
                                    realizes that everything cannot be all right all the time.               do not provide a contemporary picture of Ethiopia.
                                    During one moment, something appears to have broken                          The reader will need a great deal of information about
                                    into small pieces around her feet. Even when she makes a                 Ethiopia past and present to understand this story and not to
                                    mistake, she’s not chastised but forgiven, and as she says,              assume that this portrayal is typical of Ethiopian communi-
                                    “all the world made peace again.” The hugs and kisses the                ties.
                                    little girl receives from her family are evident throughout.                                                       — Patricia S. Kuntz
                                    Her parents’ love helps her tackle her fear of the dark.                                                                 Madison, Wis.
                                        The simple and playful text is sprinkled across brightly             12-1-0116
                                    colored pages. Evans’s lively and expressive paintings com-              Louie, Therese On. Raymond’s Perfect Present. New
                                    plement this warm-hearted story, which is perfect for reveal-            York: Lee & Low, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Suling Wang. ISBN
                                    ing the tender moments between parent and child, as well as              1-58430-055-8, $16.95.
                                    playful, reflective times. The little girl’s attire is even adorned
                                    with all of the special incidents in her life. During a brief               Raymond’s relationship with his sick mother and his
                                    sad-to-happy moment, the little round faces on her dress                 desire to surprise her with a beautiful gift are eloquently cap-
                                    transition from sad on one page to smiling on the subsequent             tured in this new picture book. Louie skillfully portrays the
                                    page.                                                                    range of emotions Raymond experiences as he waits for his
                                        Be Boy Buzz is a wonderful introduction to the joys of being         mother’s health to return and as he carefully creates her gift.
                                    a boy. This positive self-image book is hooks’s second collabo-          The feelings are delicately mirrored in Wang’s choice of col-
                                    ration with award-winning author and illustrator Raschka.                ors and tones used in the illustrations—gray or darker shades
                                        Several everyday antics of little boys are evident as they           for sadness, brighter tones and more colors for happiness.
                                    laugh and run. There are touching moments of humor as                    A diverse community is also reflected in the illustrations of
                                    one little boy even acknowledges that he is “talking way too             Raymond’s neighborhood.
                                    loud.” The little boys are clearly self-confident and “All ready            While the story is effectively told, two questions gnaw
                                    for the world to see and play.”                                          at the reader: What illness has put Raymond’s mother in
                                        Whether they’re playful, upbeat, or enjoying quiet                   the hospital for so long? Why does he have to stay at the
                                    moments, clearly the boys appreciate who they are. Hooks’s               neighbor’s apartment instead of with other family members
                                    sparse text is poetic and colorful, with expressions such as             somewhere? Younger children would be very concerned
                                    “All boy. Big open heart. Sweet mind.”                                   about these two issues as they listen to the story unfold.
                                        Raschka’s simple, whimsical illustrations effectively cap-           Reading this book would promote healthy discussions about
                                    ture the light-hearted tone of the story. The interesting                children’s experiences with both of these issues.
                                    expressions on the boys’ faces, their sparsely drawn attire,                                                  — Sharon Chur Lapensky
                                    and the squiggly, colorful squares that adorn many of the                                                              Minneapolis, Minn.
                                    pages are fun to look at.
                                                                                 — Valerie A. Canady         12-1-0117
                                                                                            Johnston, R.I.   Myers, Walter Dean. Patrol: An American Soldier in
                                    12-1-0115                                                                Vietnam. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    Janisch, Heinz. The Fire. Toronto: Groundwood/Douglas                    Ann Grifalconi. ISBN 0-06-028363-7, $16.95.
                                    & McIntyre, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Fabricio Vanden Broeck.
                                    ISBN 0-88899-450-8, $15.95.                                                  When I first began to read this book, I asked myself, Who
                                                                                                             would be interested in a book about the Vietnam War these
                                        Janisch’s retelling depicts the universal theme of friend-           days? As our country prepares to go to war again, the answer
                                    ship. In this rendition, a slave asks for his freedom from his           should be everyone.
                                    master; however, to gain freedom, the slave must spend the                   The story begins with an African-American soldier’s
                                    night naked on a snowy mountain. The slave goes to a friend              description of the mountains, valleys, forests, and rivers that
                                    to request protection from the severe cold. His friend pro-              run through the land of the enemy. In an incredibly lush
                                    poses to build a fire on an opposite peak, where the slave can           and beautiful jungle, filled with a myriad of colorful wildlife,
                                    see the light and imagine the warmth throughout the night.               the soldier and his squad are seeking out a foe whose visage
                                    Indeed, the fire does warm him, and the slave becomes                    is cast only in intermittent shadow. That shadow knows that

94
this American has been sent out to kill him, and he is equally     and about Korean Americans. Newcomer Janie Jaehyun Park
determined to return the favor.                                    combines her talents as writer and artist in The Tiger and the
    The soldier finally comes face to face with one of the         Dried Persimmon. Her highly stylized, fanciful illustrations
enemy. The two boys stare at one another other, then they          create an appealing background for the folktale that Park’s
turn around and leave without firing their weapons. Both           grandmother often repeated to her. The expressions on the
soldiers have realized at that exact moment the utter futility     tiger’s face vividly show his fierce arrogance and, ultimately,
of the entire exercise. Thankful to be alive, the soldier begins   his ridiculous behavior. The language used by the author is
to write letters home, exhausted by the war’s monotony.            satisfyingly effective in capturing the personality of the tiger.
   I have read several books and watched many films about          The traditional clothing on the other characters in the story
the war in Vietnam. None of those books or films have done         is noticeably accurate, and Park’s skillful use of strong colors
a better job of explaining the basics of that conflict than this   creates the perfect setting for the action on each page. Her
simple picture book. Highly recommended for older children         work is reminiscent of another Korean-American author and
as well as younger ones.                                           artist, Yangsook Choi.
                                               — Reeves Smith           Coincidentally, Choi is the illustrator for Frances and
                    Madison (Wis.) Metropolitan School District    Ginger Park’s latest book, Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong.
                                                                   These sisters have contributed another wonderful addition
12-1-0118
O’Neill, Alexis. Estela’s Swap. New York: Lee & Low, 2002.         to their rapidly growing collection of stories for children.
32 pp. Illus. by Enrique O. Sánchez. ISBN 1-58430-044-2,           This latest book recounts the experience of their older sister
$16.95.                                                            moving from Korea to the United States as a young girl. The
                                                                   Parks adeptly capture the emotions of a young girl who must
   In this attractive picture book, Papa takes Estela and Javier   leave her home and friends behind as the family moves to
to a weekend Swap Meet. Estela brings a music box she hopes        a new country. Korean culture and traditions are carefully
to sell for money to spend on folk-dancing lessons at the          blended into a universal story about an immigrant child’s
Ballet Folklórico. When a strong wind blows through the flea       experience of adjusting to an entirely foreign environment.
market, it destroys a flower seller’s goods. Estela then gives        The storytelling talent of the Park sisters is combined with
her music box to the woman in an expression of empathy.            the wonderful grace of Choi’s portrayal of Koreans as char-
   Selected shapes and forms in Sánchez’s acrylic-on-canvas        acteristically human. Children who have been teased about
paintings are sharply defined with strong lines and numer-         “chink” eyes or a flat nose will enjoy turning each page
ous details. Other shapes and forms are more impressionistic       to see and hear about a Korean family in the mainstream.
in style, with smudged lines and little detail. The result is      Careful examination of the traditional Korean table setting
reminiscent of photographs in which some areas appear in           will also delight anyone who loves to eat a good bowl of
focus, whereas other areas fall outside the focus range. For       dumpling soup with a big spoon.
example, one illustration depicts Papa and Estela walking             The accurate portrayal of ethnic Koreans as a unique
through the crowded market. They stand in the center of the        group of Asians with a distinct culture and long tradition is
page in sharp focus, surrounded by a thick border of fuzzy         long overdue. The contributions being made by these Korean
shoppers, sellers, and stalls.                                     authors and artists will be heralded for many years by any-
   Because Estela’s decision to give away the music box is         one who has longed to find their own experiences reflected
neither explored nor examined adequately, it seems abrupt,         in children’s literature being published in America.
even out of character. However, the beautifully rendered                                                — Sharon Chur Lapensky
art compensates for this plot weakness, making the title a                                                      Minneapolis, Minn.
supplemental addition for larger collections.
                                              — Denise Agosto      12-1-0120
                                                    Drexel Univ.   San Souci, Robert D. The Twins and the Bird of
                                                                   Darkness: A Hero Tale from the Caribbean. New York:
                                                                                                                                       MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


12-1-0119                                                          Simon & Schuster, 2002. unp. Illus. by Terry Widener. ISBN
Park, Frances and Park, Ginger. Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang            0-689-83343-1, $16.95.
Dong. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Books, 2002.
32 pp. Illus. by Yangsook Choi. 0-7922-7985-9, $16.95.                This is the sort of children’s book one has come to expect
                                                                   of this prolific writer of ethnic children’s folktales such as
Park, Janie Jaehyun. The Tiger and the Dried Persimmon.            Sukey the Mermaid and Cendrillon, a retelling of Cinderella.
Toronto: Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. 32 pp.               There’s the supernatural premise: the magical Bird of
Illus. by the author. ISBN 0-88899-485-0, $15.95.                  Darkness terrifies the passive villagers of a gorgeous island.
                                                                   The tale also features the beautiful girl alongside the hero
   These two new books provide an interesting juxtaposi-           (Marie, the princess kidnapped and taken to an isolated
tion in the world of children’s literature being written by        mountain) and the valiant hero, the kindest, most hand-



                                                                                                                                         95
                                    tcontinued juvenile (gr. p-3) reviews

                                    some young man in the village.                                      stands out, esteemed by both sides from his time to ours.
                                       This time around, however, San Souci draws as much               Saladin (Salah-ed-Dine), who led the Muslims against the
                                    on Biblical stories as he does on Caribbean folklore. The           European Crusaders in Palestine of the late twelfth century,
                                    benevolent Soliday and his mischievous twin Salacota mir-           is at last the subject of a worthy biography for young read-
                                    ror Genesis’s Jacob and Esau. Whereas it is Jacob, the pure-        ers—so superbly produced that it will appeal to all ages.
                                    hearted twin who steals Esau’s birthright and his claim to             Of Kurdish origin and evidently endowed with great
                                    Rachel, in that tale, here it is Salacota, the evil twin, who       astuteness, courage, and determination, Saladin first worked
                                    pretends to have rescued the princess Marie.                        his way into command of Egypt. Eventually he succeeded
                                       The story ends on a Biblical note as well: Esau forgave          in uniting and rallying the Muslim forces, in disarray since
                                    Jacob, as does Soliday his brother Salacota, once the latter                                             the Crusaders’ bloody
                                    confesses that it is his brother, and not he, who defeated the                                           seizure of Jerusalem a
                                    beastly bird. Widener’s attractive illustrations are as much of                                          century earlier. After a
                                    a romp as the story they illustrate. Widener, who has previ-                                             series of battles and the
                                    ously collaborated with award-winning writer Gary Soto,                                                  recapture of Jerusalem,
                                    hypnotizes the eye with her work.                                                                        without acts of revenge,
                                                                               — Katheline St. Fort                                          Saladin      broke    the
                                                                                       Margate, Fla.                                         Europeans’ grip on the
                                    12-1-0121                                                                                                region. Known as much
                                    Shange, Ntozake. Float Like a Butterfly. New York:                                                       for his chivalry, compas-
                                    Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, 2002. unp. Illus. by Edel                                                      sion, and wisdom as for
                                    Rodríguez. ISBN 0-7868-0554-4, $15.99.                              his military prowess, he carried on a correspondence with
                                                                                                        King Richard of England (by far his moral inferior) that
                                       Cassius Clay was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky,        remains one of the famous “connections” of medieval his-
                                    during the pre-civil-rights era. He and his family were victim-     tory.
                                    ized by legal and social segregation. The young Clay never             Stanley’s well-researched and gracefully written book is
                                    let his impoverished circumstances diminish his aspirations         lavishly illustrated by the author/artist in a style adapted
                                    for the future. Exhibiting his precocious verbal skills and a       from Persian art. The result is stunning, a volume of truly
                                    proclivity for athletics, he shouted to the world that he was       extraordinary beauty in both content and appearance, a
                                    going to be the greatest boxer of all time.                         must-have for libraries and individuals interested in Middle
                                       Years of diligent training paid off. At 18 years of age he       Eastern history and biography.
                                    won an Olympic gold medal in boxing. Four years later, Clay                                                        — Elsa Marston
                                    defeated Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of                                                           Bloomington, Ind.
                                    the world. After winning the boxing crown, he announced
                                    that he had converted to Islam and was changing his name            12-1-0123
                                    to Muhammad Ali.                                                    Stanley, Sanna. Monkey for Sale. New York: Farrar, Straus &
                                       When he was stripped of his championship after refusing          Giroux, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by the author. ISBN 0-374-35017-
                                    to fight in Vietnam, Ali’s fortunes took an extended turn for       5, $17.00.
                                    the worse. In 1971 he fought and lost to the new champion,
                                    Joe Frazier. Finally, in 1974, Ali regained his boxing title        Stuve-Bodeen, Stephanie. Elizabeti’s School. New York:
                                    from George Foreman. The message of this book is that self-         Lee & Low, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Christy Hale. ISBN
                                    confidence, trust in a Higher Power, and a belief in equal          1-58430-043-4, $16.95.
                                    rights will overcome all obstacles.
                                       The text of this biography is somewhat stingy with histor-          Stuve-Bodeen depicts a girl’s first day at school. She has
                                    ical details. If the reader wants to find out how Ali returned      her school uniform and new shoes. Like children around the
                                    to boxing after his title was removed, he or she must check         world, Elizabeti misses her mother and previous daily activi-
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                    the appendix in the back.                                           ties. Many of Elizabeti’s activities are similar to those of U.S.
                                                                                    — Reeves Smith      children. She is timid in class and hesitant to play during
                                                          Madison (Wis.) Metropolitan School District   recess. However, by the end of the day she willingly harvests
                                                                                                        tomatoes from the school garden, counts the new kittens,
                                    12-1-0122                                                           and reports her activities to her parents. The author provides
                                    Stanley, Diane. Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam. New                 a pleasant introduction to learning. The short glossary of
                                    York: HarperCollins, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by the author. ISBN        numbers helps readers pronounce the Swahili words.
                                    0-688-17135-4, $16.99.                                                 Stanley’s Luzolo also has a learning experience in the
                                                                                                        local market. With her five-franc coin, she goes off to spend
                                      In the long murky history of confrontation between                it at several booths. Her father cautions her to be selective
                                    Christian Europe and the Islamic world, one brilliant figure        and not to purchase the first item that she sees. In order to


96
obtain the best price, she must bargain with each vendor.          with these stories and threatens to kill the fisherman any-
She quickly learns the value of judicious choices. After buy-      way. The fisherman ultimately thwarts the genie, not with
ing fingernail polish, she learns that a monkey has been           the stories but by outwitting the genie through a dare.
captured from the forest and is for sale. Luzolo and her              The author and illustrator bio blurbs on the back jacket
girlfriend decide that they must free the monkey. Without          flap are more interesting than the book itself, which man-
sufficient money after their initial purchases, they negotiate     ages to be both repetitive and confusing.
a series of bargaining transactions that will enable them to                                                       — Ginny Lee
obtain the monkey. They succeed and take the monkey to                                                            Fairfield, Calif.
the forest. Their actions to liberate the monkey give them
much more satisfaction than having fingernail polish and           12-1-0125
ribbons.                                                           Tenzing, Norbu Lama. Himalaya. Toronto: Groundwood/
    The authors’ illustrations are consistent with their other     Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. 40 pp. Illus. by the author. ISBN
books. In Elizabeti’s School, Hale utilizes the same colors,       0-88899-480-X, $16.95.
designs, and composition, and includes the rock doll Eva
and sister Flora in several pictures as a means of remind-             This companion book to the Oscar-nominated movie cap-
ing readers of previous books. Similarly, Stanley illustrates      tures more permanently the austere beauty of the Tibetan
Monkey for Sale using etching and hand-painting. Like Hale,        landscape and the lives of the Dolpo people. Himself a
she uses warm brown tones to connote a friendly, support-          monastic painter, Tenzing Norbu uses traditional Tibetan
ive community. Both illustrators provide a realistic view of       imagery and a magical grayed palette to portray the pre-
activities in a community.                                         carious existence of the Dolpo people living in uneasy alli-
    Both books address issues of social responsibility, such as    ance with the unforgiving harshness of the Himalaya. The
care for animals and the environment as well as for one’s          yearly trek with their yaks over the mountains to get salt to
friends. They also stress setting priorities. The authors exem-    exchange for grain, the staple of their diet, is in itself a life-
plify how girls attain discipline and patience and satisfy         endangering undertaking requiring trust in the wisdom of
higher-order needs. These universal topics are applicable to       the accepted caravan leader.
U.S. situations. Therefore, these books are recommended for            The Buddhist concept of impermanence brackets and
introducing and comparing families, schools, markets, and          resides at the heart of this story. Nothing endures and no
communities in Tanzania and the Republic of Congo.                 one remains the same. At the very beginning the boy Tsering
                                             — Patricia S. Kuntz   loses his father, leader of an unsuccessful caravan over the
                                                  Madison, Wis.    Himalaya. Too young himself to assume leadership, Tsering’s
                                                                   first trek is his coming-of-age journey, led by his wonderfully
12-1-0124                                                          crotchety and fallible old grandfather. Suffice it to say that the
Sunami, Kitoba. How the Fisherman Tricked the Genie:               abiding strength of tradition preserves and is itself preserved.
A Tale Within a Tale Within a Tale. New York: Simon                    Drawing predominantly on the story’s cinematic origin,
& Schuster/Atheneum, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by Amiko Hirao.           Tenzing Norbu has made this book as much a portrait as
ISBN 0-689-83399-7, $16.00.                                        one of his paintings. Himalaya celebrates at once the fleeting
                                                                   moment in the coming of age of a boy as well as a moment
    Here is an tale that has been retold many times. An            in the precarious existence of a whole people.
Arabian fisherman frees a genie who, instead of offering                                                         — Rinchen Yutso
wishes, intends to kill the man for having waited so long to                            New York State Assembly Information Center
find the bottle and free him. But first the fisherman wants        12-1-0126
to make a point of the retribution of Heaven and Fate. So he       Zalben, Jane Breskin, comp. Let There Be Light: Poems
tells the genie a story.                                           and Prayers for Repairing the World. New York:
    In his story, a king is dying of a mysterious illness that     Dutton, 2002. 32 pp. Illus. by the compiler. ISBN 0-525-
no one can cure. Finally a certain doctor cures him, but the       46995-8, $15.99.
                                                                                                                                        MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


cure is so embarrassing that the king wants to kill the doctor.
And to prove that Heaven and Fate will punish the king for            The wonders and marvels of nature are an essential part
killing the doctor, the doctor tells the king a story.             of life. The daily miracles that we may often take for granted
    In this story a prince is chasing a priceless deer. When he    help us gain insight and inspiration into the creation and
comes to a river, his dog bites his horse. Chase is over. Prince   repair of the world.
in fury kills dog. Prince steps into stream and realizes he is        Colorful illustrations and appropriate arrangement of
turning to stone. Dog was just trying to warn him. Prince          the text enhance the purpose and meaning of this book.
dies steeped in regret.                                            Religions and ethnic groups that are represented include
    However, this moral is lost on the king, who has the doc-      Jews, Buddhists, Native Americans, Christians, and Muslims.
tor killed anyway. But the doctor has arranged for the king        Quotations from the Book of Psalms and from some of the
to die of poison in retribution. The genie is not impressed        Biblical Prophets are also represented. The illustrations of



                                                                                                                                          97
                                    t continued juvenile (gr. 4-6) reviews

                                    children show the innocence of youth and strong, deter-             dispute, and Isaac is favored for his darker skin. This breeds
                                    mined hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow.                       great resentment, yet the friendship emerges strengthened
                                       The book gives the reader encouragement and inspira-             from this ordeal.
                                    tion. There are people in the world whose goals are to help            The boys’ friendship and the integrity of their views on
                                    others and to make the world a better place to live. The            race are the novel’s strongest points. Its flaws outweigh its
                                    prayers and poems give the reader the feeling that all hope         successes, however. The most compelling events in the nar-
                                    is not lost and the courage to face whatever lies ahead. Life       rative do not occur until Chapter Six, by which time most
                                    is worthwhile and meaningful when we look at the miracles           younger readers would have abandoned this book. Calvert
                                    of nature and appreciate the world that G-d has created. The        blurs the lines between historical fact and fiction in ways
                                    attractiveness of the book can motivate reluctant readers. An       that are potentially confusing for younger readers.
                                    easy read, Let There Be Light is a treasure to behold.                 The story does conclude logically, however, and its reso-
                                                                                — Hannah M. Heller      lution is never trite as the characters bring their respective
                                                                       Pern’s Judaica, Baltimore, Md.   journeys across three novels and half a continent to a close.
                                                                                                                                                  — Kimberly Cetron
                                    Intermediate (Gr. 4-6)                                                                                         George Mason Univ.

                                    12-1-0127                                                           12-1-0129
                                    Bernier-Grand, Carmen T., comp. Shake It, Morena: And               Ellis, Deborah. Parvana’s Journey. Toronto: Groundwood/
                                    Other Folklore from Puerto Rico. Brookfield, Conn.:                 Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. 176 pp. ISBN 0-88899-514-8,
                                    Millbrook, 2002. 48 pp. Illus. by Lulu Delacre. Bilingual           $15.95 (cl); 0-88899-519-9, $7.95 (pb).
                                    (Spanish-English) ed. ISBN 0-7613-1910-7, $24.90.
                                       This attractive book contains games, rhymes, songs, stories,         At the end of Ellis’s deservedly acclaimed first novel
                                    riddles, and more that the author learned as a child growing        about Afghanistan, The Breadwinner, Parvana had become
                                    up in Puerto Rico. Most of the items in this spirited collection    separated from her mother and sisters but reunited with her
                                    appear in both English and Spanish. However, game direc-            father, released from his imprisonment by the Taliban. In
                                    tions are given in English only, and there is no pronunciation      this equally fine sequel, a classic survival story based on pres-
                                    key for Spanish words used in the English versions.                 ent-day realities, Parvana continues the search for her family
                                       Despite this minor weakness, both Spanish speakers and           after her father’s death. Before long she finds herself head of
                                    non-Spanish speakers should enjoy this book. Collection             a little band of orphans: one-legged Asif, abused and hostile;
                                    highlights include the “Jeringonza Secret Language” (a close        a baby boy; and a young girl named Leila. They settle down
                                    cousin to Pig Latin), the “Puedo o No Puedo Game” (similar          for a while with Leila and her comatose grandmother, who
                                    to “Mother May I”), and a series of animal riddles (“What           live beside a minefield. Much of their sustenance comes from
                                    is the size of a nut, climbs the hill, and has no feet? The         the field; Leila, believing she cannot be hurt, goes out to scav-
                                    snail.”). The vibrant illustrations add life to the author’s        enge each time the mines claim another victim. After this
                                    words and in some cases help to clarify activity directions,        interlude of relative recovery, the bombs start falling again.
                                    such as a drawing of the seashell shape used in the “Caracol            Ellis has skillfully interwoven brutal details with compel-
                                    Game” (a form of sidewalk hopscotch). As a special bonus,           ling characterization: Parvana, for example, goes through
                                    the illustrator has hidden 27 lizards throughout the book for       fierce mood swings, and Asif’s insults are a constant trial for
                                    readers to locate. Both the text and illustrations serve as a       her. While the writing, tight and simple, addresses children of
                                    window to the joys of childhood in Puerto Rico.                     about 10, the subject matter makes this story appropriate for
                                                                                  — Denise Agosto       considerably older readers. It provides a vicarious experience
                                                                                        Drexel Univ.    of the suffering of Afghans under Taliban oppression—and
                                    12-1-0128                                                           the ostensible war of liberation—that no news report can
                                    Calvert, Patricia. Betrayed! New York: Simon & Schuster/            equal.
                                    Atheneum, 2002. 212 pp. ISBN 0-689-83472-1, $16.00.                                                                  — Elsa Marston
MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                                                                                                                                        Bloomington, Ind.
                                        Tyler Bohannon lives a life of betrayal. He feels betrayed
                                    at various times by his father, his mother, an unscrupulous         12-1-0130
                                    ship’s captain, and his best friend. Third in a trilogy, this is    Green, Michelle Y. A Strong Right Arm: The Story of
                                    a coming-of-age tale set in 1867 in which two young men             Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. New York: Dial, 2002. 113 pp.
                                    strike out for the West and learn both the value and the            ISBN 0-8037-2661-9, $15.99.
                                    danger of a life of adventure.
                                        Tyler and Isaac are unlikely friends—a Confederate                 There is a scene in the fine movie A League of Their Own
                                    soldier’s son and a freed slave. Tyler is enlightened for a         in which an African-American woman makes a long, hard
                                    young man of his time. Soon he experiences discrimination           throw to Geena Davis’s character. Davis nods in appreciation
                                    firsthand, as the boys are sold to a Sioux tribe to settle a        of the woman’s strong toss. Could it be that this was a nod


98
to “Peanut” Johnson?                                                  What a good idea it was to write a book about “the young
   Green retells the story, in a first-person reminiscence,       life of Jacob Lawrence.” Lawrence (1917-2000) became a
about the diminutive pitcher who had to contend not only          painter almost by chance. His mother sent him at the age
with racism but with sexism as well. Johnson was a preco-         of 13 to an after-school program to keep him safe while
cious athlete, always bent on proving that her skills were the    she worked; there he was introduced to the making of art
rival of any boy on the field. Unfortunately, she lived in an     by Charles Alston, an African-American painter of renown.
era when the best that black baseball players could hope for      Alston recognized Lawrence’s originality and encouraged
was a shot at the Negro Leagues.                                  it by teaching him techniques. When Lawrence was only
   “Peanut” Johnson also had a very short career. After only      25 he had gained the admiration of the art establishment,
three years with the Indianapolis Clowns she was accepted         showing in important museums and galleries. Acceptance
into North Carolina A&T. A few years later she received her       in this white world, for such a young man, was all the more
nursing degree.                                                   remarkable because his subjects were African Americans and
   A Strong Right Arm teaches young readers to go after their     their struggles for civil rights.
dreams. No one could tell Mamie Johnson that a life of                Hired by the WPA, he was “too young for a wall,” to
professional baseball was off limits to girls. When the adults    paint murals, but he still wanted to tell stories. He invented
around her tried to push her toward softball she demurred,        the series form, numerous small panels painted in the same
stuck to her guns, and proved she could handle the job if         palette. From 1938 until 1942 Lawrence completed the
given the opportunity.                                            following series, ranging from 31 to 60 panels: Toussaint
                                                — Ron Kaplan      L’Ouverture, Life of Frederick Douglass, Life of Harriet
                                                Montclair, N.J.   Tubman, Migration Series, and Life of John Brown.
                                                                      In clear and beautiful prose Leach tells how the poor and
                                                                  modest Lawrence overcame obstacles. A graphically hand-
12-1-0131                                                         some book, it has many reproductions and photographs.
Johnson, Angela. Looking for Red. New York: Simon &               Recommended for high schools as well as middle schools.
Schuster, 2002. 116 pp. ISBN 0-689-83253-2, $15.95.                                                      — Betty Kaplan Gubert
   “I used to throw this red-and-yellow ball into the surf.                                                       New York, N.Y.
It always came back....Red didn’t come back. He’s still out       12-1-0133
there.”                                                           Orozco, José-Luis. Fiestas: A Year of Latin American
   Johnson’s tale is simple enough. A young African-              Songs of Celebration. New York: Dutton, 2002. 48 pp.
American girl named Micaela is at the shore with her broth-       Illus. by Elisa Kleven. Bilingual (Spanish-English) ed. ISBN
er, Red, and two of his friends—and he disappears. What           0-525-45937-5, $17.99.
is not simple is the manner in which Johnson relates her
story. Page after page, she pinpoints and captures the unique         This collection of 22 songs and rhymes from Latin
aspects of her characters and their perspectives.                 America is a delight in text and illustration. Lyrics are pro-
   Early in the narrative, Mike (Micaela’s nickname) describes    vided in both English and Spanish, as are simple arrange-
her mother’s grief over Red’s disappearance. Red collected        ments for voice, piano, and guitar. Each song or rhyme
beads of all sizes and colors, and their mother spots a stray     relates to a celebration of some sort, such as Cinco de Mayo,
one on the floor while knitting. She does not cry; she unrav-     the quinceañera, the Day of the Dead, and Christmas. The
els the knitting, then vacuums for the rest of the day. Mike      table of contents is organized according to the month of the
salvages one jar of beads from underneath Red’s bed, know-        year during which each celebration typically occurs, and a
ing the rest will be taken away soon. They are gone by the        subject index offers additional access.
next morning.                                                         Kleven’s detailed mixed-media collages radiate movement
   The only shortcomings of this beautiful book are an occa-      and joy. For example, the illustration accompanying the
sional use of profanity (not quite gratuitous, but not quite      song “The Three Wise Men” depicts the first grinning wise
appropriate for the reading level of the book) and a section      man juggling on one leg atop a camel, the second wise man
                                                                                                                                   MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


in which Mike looks around her school cafeteria in terms of       doing a handstand atop an elephant, and the third wise man
slurs and stereotypes. That aside, this book is highly recom-     sitting sidesaddle on a horse while singing and playing a
mended for its rich, complex character treatments and its         drum. Each page features an ornate side border that reflects
accessible yet lyrical style.                                     the theme of the page, such as a strip of international flags
                                           — Kimberly Cetron      running down the length of the page containing the song,
                                            George Mason Univ.    “My Puerto Rican Flag.” This is a fine follow-up to Orozco
12-1-0132                                                         and Kleven’s two previous collaborations, De Colores and
Leach, Debra Foxley. I See You, I See Myself: The Young           Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children (1994), and Diez
Life of Jacob Lawrence. Washington, D.C.: The Philips             Deditos: Ten Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action
Collection, 2002. 64 pp. Illus. Foreword by Toni Morrison.        Songs from Latin America (1997).
ISBN 0-943044-26-X, $19.95.                                                                                    — Denise Agosto
                                                                                                                    Drexel Univ.

                                                                                                                                     99
                                     t continued juvenile (gr. 7 and up) reviews


                                     12-1-0134                                                           strong-minded man with a simple, but not simplistic, sense
                                     Reef, Catherine. This Our Dark Country: The American                of right and wrong. The author closes with the wrenching
                                     Settlers of Liberia. New York: Clarion, 2002. 136 pp. Illus.        revelation that her subject’s previously interviewed friend
                                     ISBN 0-618-14785-3, $17.00.                                         died in the World Trade Center collapse. Schulman presents
                                                                                                         a frank view of one successful officer’s attitudes and working
                                        This is a fascinating look at a relatively unknown part of       methods.
                                     American history. The African nation of Liberia has a rich                                                           — John Peters
                                     past, which is directly linked to that of the early American                                                New York Public Library
                                     republic. When an open dialogue over the existence of slav-
                                     ery and what to do with freed slaves took place in the 1820s,       Young Adult (Gr. 7 and up)
                                     the American Colonization Society was formed. Primarily, it
                                     was felt that freed slaves should be relocated to Africa. This      12-1-0136
                                     idea was not readily accepted by some blacks.                       Blumenthal, Scott and Hodus, Brett. Hoop City. La Jolla,
                                        Reef provides a well-researched and clearly written              Calif.: Scobre Press, 2002. 150 pp. ISBN 0-9708992-1-1, $9.95
                                     account of the origin of this concept, as the narrative fol-        (pb).
                                     lows the American settlers to what became Liberia on the
                                     western coast of Africa. While chronicling the story of the            The best two high school basketball players on the
                                     early settlers and their colonies, Reef not only examines the                                  isle of Manhattan reside in Harlem.
                                     positive side of the emergence of Liberia, but also presents an                                Fraternal twins Mike and Tony Hope
                                     overview of some of the problems that developed within the                                     have led their high school to the
                                     colony. For example, there were clashes between the settlers                                   state championship. As the story
                                     and the original inhabitants that parallel the political and                                   begins, summer vacation has come
                                     economic problems facing Liberia today.                                                        to an end and the brothers will be
                                        Although This Our Dark Country is written for middle-                                       attending the University of New
                                     grade students, the book successfully explores an ignored                                      York on athletic scholarships.
                                     aspect of our history. Many period photographs of the origi-                                     Mike intends to make his last night
                                     nal settlers along with several useful maps supplement the                                     in Harlem a memorable one. He
                                     fast-moving text. This book is highly recommended.                                             wants Tony to go with him and a
                                                                                    — Mike Russert                                  couple of his friends to a wild party.
                                                                                    Cambridge, N.Y.                                 Tony will have nothing to do with
                                                                                                         the plan, and by the end of the evening Mike is shot and
                                     12-1-0135                                                           paralyzed.
                                     Schulman, Arlene. Cop on the Beat: Officer Steven                      When Tony returns home for summer vacation from col-
                                     Mayfield in New York City. New York: Dutton, 2002. 120              lege, he sees that his brother has been working diligently on
                                     pp. ISBN 0-525-47064-6, $18.99.                                     rehabilitation. Mike believes that through hard work and
                                                                                                         maybe even a miracle, he might regain the use of his lower
                                         The author of 23rd Precinct: The Job (Soho Press, 2001) trav-   extremities. Mike encourages his brother to go back to UNY
                                     eled uptown to Manhattan’s Washington Heights/ Inwood               and achieve their lifelong dream. He wants Tony to make
                                     section and shadowed one of its police officers for a year to       the NBA.
                                     create this revealing profile. Rather than glamorize, indict, or       Since the story reads like a script from one of those ubiq-
                                     even, really, describe police work, Schulman’s impersonal but       uitous afterschool specials, don’t be surprised if Tony’s team
                                     sometimes humorous observations (enhanced by many terse             wins the college basketball championship and he’s chosen
                                     comments from Mayfield, fellow officers, his closest friend,        as the first player drafted by his hometown NBA team. These
                                     and even his mother) weave a character study that will give         characters are named HOPE, remember? I recommend this
                                     readers real insight into the mental toughness required to          book for adolescent males who are reluctant readers.
 MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                     survive an inner-city beat. A big, muscular African American,                                                       — Reeves Smith
                                     Mayfield is a neat freak—first met, and last seen, picking                               Madison (Wis.) Metropolitan School District
                                     lint from his sharply creased uniform—who has patrolled
                                     the Dyckman Houses and surrounding blocks for almost 12             12-1-0137
                                     years. He has been in many dangerous situations and hos-            Cart, Michael, ed., with Marc Aronson and Marianne Carus.
                                     tile confrontations, earned numerous commendations, and,            911: The Book of Help. Chicago: Cricket Books, 2002. 178
                                     contrary to popular expectation, has never had to use his           pp. ISBN 0-8126-2659-1, $17.95 (cl); 0-8126-2676-1, $9.95
                                     sidearm.                                                            (pb).
                                         Delivering blunt opinions about the judicial system, the
                                     adversarial relationship between community and police,              Frank, Mitch. Understanding September 11th: Answering
                                     incompetent and corrupt colleagues including those involved         Questions About the Attacks on America. New York:
                                     in the Diallo case, and other topics, he comes across as a          Viking, 2002. 136 pp. ISBN 0-670-03582-3, $16.99.

100
                                                                  of her parents. Marika’s older brother, Andras, feels that
   Taking different approaches, these authors seek to help        there is no future for the Jews and stops taking his studies
young people discuss, respond to, and understand the              at school seriously. Marika can’t fathom her brother’s atti-
tragic events of September 11. Beginning with his eyewitness      tude.
account of the collapse of the Twin Towers, reporter Frank’s         “I would be an explorer, a scientist, a writer. Did Andras
informational approach places the events of September 11          really think that a man named Hitler in Germany would
into a wider political, cultural, and social context. Using a     stop me?” she thinks.
question-and-answer format, Frank reports a great deal of            When Hungary comes under Nazi occupation, Hitler
facts, figures, and other information in answer to 10 major       orders all Jews to be identifiable by requiring them to wear
questions, each of which is broken down into subquestions.        a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing. Though
Beginning with, “What happened on September 11th?” and            Marika’s family has adopted a Catholic life style, including
“Who were the hijackers?,” Frank broadens his scope to cover      baptisms and marriages in the Catholic Church, it is com-
the larger issues of terrorism, Islam, the Middle East, the       mon knowledge that Marika has three Jewish grandparents.
growth of Islamism, and Afghanistan, as well as covering the      The family gets separated and must learn how to keep hope
Taliban and Osama bin Laden. Particularly valuable are the        alive in their hearts during their darkest hours.
historical and political backgrounds to topics and the cover-        The strength of the novel is the author’s ability to put us
age of more complex issues such as the perception of America      inside the carefree world of a 10-year-old girl and then keep
in the Middle East. Black-and-white photographs, maps, and        us there when the harsh reality begins to dawn on Marika.
tables reproduced on a grainy gray and white background                                               — Victoria A. Lorrekovich
complement Frank’s reporting style. A useful glossary of                                                          Danville, Calif.
terms and a bibliography and index are also included.
   In 911: The Book of Help, the personal responses of authors    12-1-0139
of children’s and young adult books offer words that, as Cart     Cindrich, Lisa. In the Shadow of the Pali: A Story of the
writes in his introduction, have “the power to inform the         Hawaiian Leper Colony. New York: Putnam, 2002. 246
mind, heal the spirit, and help us to deal with even the worst    pp. ISBN 0-399-23855-7, $18.99.
of adversity.” Beginning with Katherine Paterson and clos-
ing with Margaret Mahy, their stories, essays, and poems are          The leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai has
divided into four sections entitled, “Healing,” “Searching for    been covered in a number of books over the years, both
History,” “Asking Why? Why? Why?,” and “Reaching and              fiction and nonfiction, many focusing on the efforts of
Reacting.” Sketches by Chris Raschka introduce each section.      Father Damien of Belgium, who sacrificed his own health
Responses include Jim Murphy’s experience of helping out          to improve the conditions of the exiles. This latest volume
with an emergency building problem during the construc-           is written from the perspective of a 12-year-old Hawaiian
tion of the Twin Towers in the 1970s; David Paterson’s expe-      girl, Liliha, who contracted the disease from her cruel
riences of working inside Ground Zero; Marc Aronson and           grandmother, and the novel is set in the years before Father
Marina Budhos’s essay showing how America’s dominant              Damien arrived at the colony in 1873. Before his arrival,
culture can cause anger among those who hold to different         there was anarchy, little food for the inhabitants, no health
faiths and values; and Suzanne Fisher Staples’s story about       care, and no shelter. In this depiction, little detail is spared of
Afghan refugee children. This inspiring collection has the        the horrors of leprosy and the terror of lawlessness, though
potential to evoke emotional and thoughtful responses to          it shows that even a resourceful child was able to rise above
the events of September 11 and its aftermath that will hope-      many of the tremendous hardships.
fully, as the editors point out, lead to a healing process.           This is a first novel. The book is well written and engaging
   These books provide young adults with a historical under-      and would be of interest to young readers. While the story
standing of a day that will forever be a significant part of      is unambiguously moralistic, it is light-handed and some-
their history. Recommended for all school library media cen-      what unconventional. That Liliha must grapple with serious
ter collections and young adult collections in public librar-     ethical issues as well as fend for herself in every way may
                                                                                                                                        MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


ies.                                                              resonate with modern teens who, increasingly, have to deal
                                              — Hilary S. Crew    with hardships of their own, including the fear of violence
                                                     Kean Univ.   and split families.
                                                                                                               — Sue Ann Gardner
12-1-0138                                                                                                 Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln
Cheng, Andrea. Marika. Asheville, N.C.: Front Street Books,
2002. 160 pp. ISBN 1-886910-78-2, $16.95.                         12-1-0140
                                                                  Clinton, Cathryn. A Stone in My Hand. Cambridge, Mass.:
   In her first novel for young people, Cheng tells the story     Candlewick, 2002. 208 pp. ISBN 0-7636-1388-6, $15.99.
of a Hungarian girl living through World War II as a not-so-
hidden Jew. Marika seems to be living a life unaffected by           Maalak is a Palestinian girl living in Gaza during the first
the events around her. Her biggest concern is the separation      Intifada (1987-1993) with her parents and older brother

                                                                                                                                          101
                                     t continued juvenile (gr. 7 and up) reviews


                                     and sister. Although the Israeli occupation has caused many         in which Morrison spent her formative years, learning “con-
                                     hardships, Maalak’s parents oppose the violent resistance           tempt for white people” from her father and gaining much
                                     espoused by Islamist militants. When her father loses his job       of that insight into the interior lives of African-American
                                     as a mechanic at a nearby garage, he tries to find work in          women that infuses her works. He then traces her education
                                     Israel and is killed when Palestinian terrorists bomb his bus.      and later career as an editor of a major publishing house,
                                        After his death, Maalak becomes quiet and withdrawn,             during which she nurtured many younger African-American
                                     and often sits alone on the roof where she confides only in         writers—including Haskins himself, who offers some per-
                                     Abdo, a bird that often appears there. Like other children liv-     sonal reminiscences—before devoting herself in stages to her
                                     ing under the occupation, her life is continually disrupted by      own writing and teaching.
                                     curfews, school closures, house demolitions, and the impris-            Noting her Nobel and other prizes, he supplements sum-
                                     onment and deaths of loved ones. An introspective child, she        maries of each of her books and their ever-mixed critical recep-
                                     likes to draw and write poems and fears that she is unable to       tion with perceptive analyses of her language, her storytelling
                                     communicate her thoughts in ordinary conversation.                  gifts, and her major themes. Though guilty of both a minor
                                        Without the strong influence of their father, her brother        slip—he misspells the illustrator of Morrison’s first children’s
                                     Hamid becomes more susceptible to the extremist rhetoric            book—and occasional debatable contentions, such as the
                                     of militant groups and, like many of his companions,                claim that Morrison’s aim to “create written books in the oral
                                     starts throwing stones at the soldiers. Maalak and her              tradition” was “something no writer had ever done before,”
                                     mother                                                              Haskins offers a compelling case for placing Morrison near the
                                     try to stop him, but fate intervenes. Told in the first per-        center of the modern American fiction scene. This strongly
                                     son, this novel is a creditable depiction of a child’s life         written, more race-conscious alternative to Blashfield’s Toni
                                     under occupation.                           — Elka R. Frankel       Morrison (Chelsea House, 2001) is enhanced by detailed end
                                                                                       Princeton, N.J.   notes and a substantial bibliography.
                                     12-1-0141                                                                                                           — John Peters
                                     Crowe, Chris. Mississippi Trial, 1955. New York: Penguin                                                   New York Public Library
                                     Putnam/Phyllis Fogleman Books, 2002. 230 pp. ISBN 0-8037-
                                     2745-3, $17.99.                                                     12-1-0143
                                                                                                         Logan, Harriet. Unveiled: Voices of Women in
                                        For a book so slender and readable, this is a complex            Afghanistan. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. 108 pp. Illus.
                                     story about the beginning of the civil rights movement of           with photos. ISBN 0-06-051087-0, $29.95.
                                     the 1950s and 1960s, about children developing their own               Logan offers a thought-provoking, engrossing exploration
                                     minds, and about the particular relationships of fathers and        of women’s and girls’ lives in Afghanistan, both during the
                                     sons. Crowe gives us Hiram Hillburn, a white 16-year-old            Taliban’s rule and after. This book is profusely illustrated
                                     who has returned from Arizona to Mississippi to spend part          with the author’s photographs—she is an internationally
                                     of the summer with his beloved grandfather. He settles into         famous photographer known for depicting difficult sub-
                                     a familiar niche with old friends and favorite places and pas-      jects, including AIDS, prostitution, and trauma care, in her
                                     times and happens to meet Emmett Till. Till is a 14-year-old        work—creating a remarkable record of the country’s women
                                     black boy from Chicago who is visiting family in the Delta.         and the hardships and triumphs of their daily lives.
                                        Till is abducted, tortured, and murdered. The two accused           We learn about Nahad, a teacher, who wants “to work
                                     are found not guilty in a trial that Hiram watches closely. He      and share in the rebuilding of [the] country, side by side
                                     thinks he knows who did it, and he agonizes as an insider           with the men.” We are introduced to Roya, a 15-year-old
                                     with outsider sensibilities. He’s a Southerner, and he’s not.       girl who longs to return to school. We meet Yelda, a nine-
                                     He realizes that he has a foot in both worlds and struggles         year-old who describes the perils involved with attending
                                     with locating his loyalties, his conscience, and his identity.      a school while the Taliban was in power, knowing that if
                                        For those of us who were Southern teenagers in the 1950s,        she were caught she would be beaten. We hear of Fahrda, a
                                     more and less aware of the racial atrocities surrounding us,        14-year-old girl who lost her leg in a rocket attack. We learn
 MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                     Hiram Hillburn is a brother. He is us.                              about Palwasha, a 26-year-old woman who suffered through
                                                                                — Priscilla Wallace      the Taliban’s rule and the American bombing attacks.
                                                                             Western Carolina Center     These stories and others create a remarkable vision of life in
                                     12-1-0142                                                           Afghanistan today for women and girls.
                                     Haskins, Jim. Toni Morrison: Telling a Tale Untold.                                                           — Sherrie A. Inness
                                     Brookfield, Conn.: Twenty-First Century Books, 2002. 144                                                      Miami Univ. of Ohio
                                     pp. ISBN 0-7613-1852-6, $25.90.                                     12-1-0144
                                                                                                         Mikaelsen, Ben. Red Midnight. New York: HarperCollins,
                                        Haskins expands his Toni Morrison: The Magic of Words            2002. 212 pp. ISBN 0-380-97745-1, $15.95.
                                     (Millbrook Press, 2001) with this thoughtful, if sometimes
                                     inflammatory, profile of the controversial writer and editor.          On the night of May 18, 1981, two Guatemalan siblings,
                                     He describes the close-knit, industrious family environment         12-year-old Santiago and four-year-old Angelina, witness

102
the burning of their village of Dos Vías during a military        Take one part boredom, one part frustration, one part unre-
raid. They hide and watch their parents, brothers, sister,        quited crush, mix in a little racial hassling if you happen to
and grandfather slaughtered by soldiers. A dying uncle            be third-generation Japanese, and add in the inexplicable
tells Santiago to take Angelina to the United States and tell     silence of your parents in regard to the Japanese Americans
about what has happened. They flee through the jungle             who were interned in remote camps in the American West
and eventually set sail in a small boat. After 23 perilous        during the second World War.
days at sea, they wash up on the Florida shore only to be             Dan Inagaki is not a good student. His older brother is
greeted by English-speaking people who call them “stinking        on top of the social and the academic world, and Dan hates
boat people” and tell them to get out of their private club.      being compared to him. Is Dan apathetic, bored, or has he
Eventually, they do find people willing to help them, and         just not yet found his passion in life? He and his friends call
their incredible story becomes news. They are not deported        themselves the Beacon Hill Boys. They are the bad boys of
back to Guatemala because of the widespread publicity and         the school.
outpouring of support.                                                The emotions are those of high school kids. A love story
    Although this is not a true story, the author notes that      is hinted at but nothing ever happens. A couple of unwar-
atrocities such as these occurred frequently in Guatemala         ranted incidents of racial prejudice appear, but the violent
during the 1980s and reveals that the United States provided      reactions of the boys do not cause us to sympathize with
training and guns to many of the guerrillas and soldiers          them. The hinted-at themes of teen relationships, the differ-
who committed these atrocities. Red Midnight is a powerful,       ences between the ethics and values of the generations, the
gripping story of survival told realistically from Santiago’s     nature of prejudice in our society, the Japanese camps, are
point of view. The novel can serve as a starting point for        all subjects that could have been developed, pondered, and
meaningful discussions about human rights, immigration,           explored, but were not.
and foreign policy issues.                                                                                          — Ginny Lee
                                                — Ed Sullivan                                                      Fairfield, Calif.
                                             Univ. of Tennessee
                                                                  12-1-0146
12-1-0145                                                         Myers, Walter Dean. Handbook for Boys: A Novel. New York:
Mochizuki, Ken. Beacon Hill Boys. New York: Scholastic,           HarperCollins, 2002. 182 pp. ISBN 0-06-029146-X, $15.95.
2002. 208 pp. ISBN 0-439-26749-8, $16.95.



  What is it like to be a teen living on the edge of society?        Convicted of assault, 16-year-old Jimmy is given probation




                                                                                                                                       MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                                                                                                                         103
                                     t continued juvenile (gr. 7 and up) reviews


                                     and assigned to a community mentoring program, which                                                                         Harvey Chan. ISBN 0-
                                     involves working after school at a Harlem barbershop called
                                     Duke’s Place. There, Jimmy meets another teen named Kevin,
                                                                                                                                                  “Compelling.”
                                                                                                                                                              *
                                                                                                                                                                  88899-475-3, $14.95.

                                     who was arrested for marijuana possession. The two teens                                                               Life in China was




                                                                                                        1-58234-763-8 / $15.95 / Ages 10 and up
                                     work for Duke, the all-knowing owner of Harlem’s oldest                                                          hard enough, trying to
                                     barbershop. While the boys sweep and clean the barbershop,                                                       pull up a rice plant
                                     they reluctantly listen to Duke and other elderly men from                                                       from hard, overworked
                                     the neighborhood give them advice about how to succeed                                                           earth, trying to keep
                                     in life. Duke and the other men tease, question, and warn                                                        face and family intact
                                     Jimmy and Kevin about letting their lives go the wrong way                                                       and maintain the
                                     by making the wrong choices. Their words have a profound                                                         ancient virtues even
                                     effect on the skeptical Jimmy when Kevin ends up in jail.                                                        while starving. But for
                                        This book is obviously intended to be a guide for young                                                       those who went to the
                                     males, especially African Americans, who will have to con-                                                       Gold Mountain (the
                                     tend with the obstacles and pressures of adolescence. Despite                                                    New World) full of
                                                                                                                                                      hope of finding gold
                                                                                                           A Junior Library Guild Selection
                                     its relentlessly preachy tone, it is a colorful, engaging story                                                  to send back home, or
                                     told in a leisurely style that will appeal to many teenage               “Alem is a refugee who                  at least a new, good
                                     boys.                                                               transcends his identity as such;             life, the difficulties
                                                                                       — Ed Sullivan      he becomes a hero, even a role              were of a different
                                                                                   Univ. of Tennessee       model and readers will care               sort: discrimination,
                                                                                                          about him.”—Kirkus Reviews *                menial jobs, low pay,
                                     12-1-0147                                                                                                        physically arduous sit-
                                     Weiss, M. Jerry and Weiss, Helen S., eds. Big City Cool:                                                         uations, gaps between
                                     Short Stories About Urban Youth. New York: Persea                         Bloomsbury Children’s Books            the generations, and
                                                                                                             Distributed by Holtzbrinck Publishers
                                     Books, 2002. 192 pp. ISBN 0-89255-278-6, $8.95 (pb).                    Available at your favorite book retailer gaps between the cul-
                                                                                                                 or by calling 1-888-330-8477         tures.
                                         This collection of short stories and excerpts from books                                                           It helps to know
                                     features a multiethnic cast of African Americans, Asian            that these are ghost stories. Seldom are ghost stories happy
                                     Americans, and Latinos. Seven of the 14 stories in this            ones. These are filled with envy, bitterness, hopeless struggle,
                                     anthology have been published in other books. Popular,             discouragement, and poverty, indicative of the despair and
                                     well-known young adult authors like Walter Dean Myers and          unwelcome environment found by the early Chinese immi-
                                     Laurence Yep are featured along with lesser-known talents          grants to the New World and also by those more recently
                                     like Eugenia Collier and Michael Rosovsky. Myers’s “Block          arrived from the newly reallocated Hong Kong. A kindly ped-
                                     Party—145th Street Style” starts the collection on a celebra-      dler is mistreated. The magical healing powers of jade ease
                                     tory note. Urban life is depicted in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los       the hurt of an old love.
                                     Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and, in the case
                                     of Eleanora Tate’s fantasy tale, “Don’t Split the Pole,” the          The original stories herein seem to follow in the footsteps
                                     fictitious Morehead City, North Carolina. In addition to           of Yee’s retellings of Chinese folk tales in Tales from Gold
                                     geographic diversity, the stories reflect a wide range of mul-     Mountain. In each of these stories, the spirit of old China
                                     ticultural experiences. In “American History,” Judith Ortiz        breathes, trying to adjust to the move to a new culture, try-
                                     Cofer depicts a Puerto Rican family living in a Paterson, New      ing to retain the old, trying to stay alive. A black and gray
                                     Jersey, tenement at the time of President Kennedy’s assassi-       woodcut type enhances the mood of each tale.
                                     nation. Joseph Geha, in “Alone and All Together,” describes                                                         — Ginny Lee
                                     the effects of the September 11 attacks on Arab Americans                                                          Fairfield, Calif.
 MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                     through the experiences of two sisters.                            12-1-0149
                                         This anthology breaks the stereotype that urban life is all    Zephaniah, Benjamin. Refugee Boy. New York: Bloomsbury,
                                     about crime, drugs, poverty, and social problems. There is         2002. 295 pp. ISBN 1-58234-763-8, $15.95.
                                     also plenty to admire, celebrate, and savor. Big City Cool is a
                                     well-balanced collection that will appeal to a broad range of         Zephaniah’s story illuminates the displacement of
                                     emotions and interests—a good choice for public and school         Africans fleeing its war-torn regions, and also is effective as a
                                     library collections.                                               universal journey to-ward hope. Alem Kelo is a teenage boy
                                                                                     — Ed Sullivan      whose family is th-reatened by the on-going war between
                                                                                  Univ. of Tennessee    Ethiopia and Eritrea. After being attacked in their home by
                                     12-1-0148                                                          police officers in the dark of night, Alem’s Ethiopian father
                                     Yee, Paul. Dead Man’s Gold and Other Stories. Toronto:             and Eritrean mother leave their son with a traumatic act
                                     Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 2002. 112 pp. Illus. by             of parental love: They abandon him in London while they

104
return home to try to bring about a stable African culture           rap, hip-hop, folk, jazz, and new-age musical styles. Some of
into which they intend to re-immerse Alem in the future.             the selections are recognizable as reworkings of traditional
   What develops is a narrative of the experience of blacks          melodies; others are original compositions or spoken words
in Britain as seen through Alem’s eyes, adapting to life in          with musical accompaniment. Some of the cuts will have
his new home with the help of an organization called the             more universal appeal than others, particularly “Shalom,”
Refugee Council. Alem learns that his parents’ act of love           the chorus of which is “Shalom, Salaam, Kosen Rufu,
was their dying gift; they have become casualties of the war.        Shanti”—all words for peace. Definitely the most inspiring
The young man’s captivating journey concludes with his               song on the disc to this reviewer, it is no wonder the record-
induction into a British foster family and his honest dis-           ing is dedicated to peace in the Middle East and the rest of
course on what it means to be labeled a refugee.                     the world.
   The voice, the conflict, the protagonist, and the pace               Although Change the World with a Sound is highly origi-
make Refugee Boy a viable choice for inclusion into the high         nal when one looks at the usual library of Jewish music,
school or college curriculum studying African culture, his-          RebbeSoul is borrowing from everybody. His vocals on
tory, or current events. In few other works of fiction is there      “Shalom” sound like Trent Reznor; the opening “Intro” bor-
such evidence of a real person relating his story as it reflects     rows from Herbie Hancock’s “This is the Drum.” “Rock of
the plight of war and displacement.                                  Ages” compares to Steeleye Span; “Kol Dodi” can be likened
                                       — Donald E. Landrum           to the Velvet Underground. The sound and interpretation
                                      Gainesville College (Ga.)      overall is very appealing. An inspired effort from a very cre-
Audio                                                                ative and talented individual, Change the World is definitely
                                                                     worth a listen. It’s not like anything else in the Jewish music
12-1-0150                                                            portfolio, yet it definitely has elements of something you
Passion. London: World Music Network, 2002. 62 minutes,              have probably heard before.
CD. $16.98.                                                                                                          — Alan S. Gold
                                                                                                                      Pittsfield, Mass.
   The producers of the successful Rough Guides music
series move in a new direction with this release. This com-
pilation is based on a theme instead of a geographical area.
Editors list love, politics, religion, and sports as just a few of
the many topics one can be passionate about and concede,             12-1-0152
in the liner notes, that “passion defies easy definition.” This      The Rough Guide to Delta Blues. London: World Music
does not deter them. A traditional Portuguese Fado song and          Network, 2002. 74 minutes, CD. $16.98.
an Eastern European Jewish klezmer dance are two choices             The Rough Guide to the Music of Louisiana. London:
right on the mark. The rest, however, is an odd assortment           World Music Network, 2002. 70 minutes, CD. $16.98.
of pieces, everything from what listeners would expect on a
“Passion” CD—deep, husky Latin American vocalists— to,                  These two exciting additions to the World Music Network
can you believe it, Gregorian chant!                                 series both entertain and educate the listener.
   From an educational point of view, focusing the listener’s           The Louisiana guide is a diverse compilation of musical
attention on one style of music or one geographical region           styles from a mix of French, Spanish, English, German,
and then providing representative music samples with copi-           Acadian, and African cultures. Jazz Cajun, zydeco, blues,
ous liner notes elucidating these selections is definitely           and gospel genres, all of which originated in Louisiana, are
preferable. Perhaps a group of pieces from across the globe          represented here. Highlights include “Louisian-i-a” by Dr.
that deal with one theme, such as “Passion,” though lacking          Michael White, a leading clarinet player and jazz performer;
any substantial unifying element, can be interesting and, at         “Mardi Gras Blues” by accordionist Beau Jocque & The
times, amusing in the novelty of its assortment. Also new            Zydeco Hi-Rollers; “Bunk’s Blues” by Cajun band Beausoleil;
with this release is the World Music Network’s association           “Hold to Gods Unchanging Hand” by gospel singer Irma
                                                                                                                                          MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003


with the social justice organization New Internationalist as         Thomas; and the well-known song “You Are My Sunshine”
coproducer. It will be interesting to see how this collabora-        performed here by the Magnificent Seventh’s Band, one of
tion will affect future productions.                                 New Orleans’ most famous brass ensembles. The disc con-
                                           — Christine Condaris      tains 15 musical compositions in all, each one purposely
                             Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts   selected to demonstrate the “gumbo” or fusion of cultures
                                                                     and indigenous genres resulting in a unique and intoxicat-
12-1-0151                                                            ing Louisiana sound.
RebbeSoul. Change the World with a Sound. Larkspur,                     The Delta encompasses not only Louisiana but Arkansas,
Calif.: 33rd St. Records, 2002. 55 minutes, CD. $16.95.              Tennessee, and Mississippi as well. Here, various musical
                                                                     styles such as spirituals, work songs, show tunes, and native
   This latest recording from multi-instrumentalist Bruce            African sounds blended together and formed a brand-new
Burger (RebbeSoul) is a sonic adventure. Based on solid              style called “the blues.” Artists and selections on Delta
Judaic roots, it combines elements of Middle Eastern, rock,          Blues include the famous blues star Muddy Waters perform-
                                                                                                                                            105
                                     t continued reviews

                                     ing “Country Blues”; Charley Patton with “High Water                  The CD includes an excellent supplementary booklet
                                     Everywhere Part One,” a song about the Mississippi River           with historical and geographical information and details on
                                     flood of 1927; the Mississippi Sheiks doing “Singing On Top        every performer and performance.
                                     of the World”; Robert Petway performing blues standard                                                   — Christine Condaris
                                     “Catfish Blues”; and Big Joe Williams with the classic “Baby                                Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
                                     Please Don’t Go.” Examples of female blues artists include
                                     Louise Johnson (“On the Wall”) and Geechie Wiley & Elvie           Video
                                     Thomas (“Last Kind Word Blues”). Delta Blues contains 24           12-1-0154
                                     tracks in all.                                                     The Color of Friendship. Burbank, Calif.: Disney
                                         On the Delta Blues recording the audio quality is extreme-     Educational Productions, 2002. 90 minutes, color. Includes
                                     ly poor on a number of tracks, as acknowledged by the pro-         Teacher’s Guide. ISBN 0-89625-801-7, $99.00.
                                     ducers. Though, with some effort, the listener might be able
                                     to transcend the annoying percussive noise on some of these           This story, inspired by true events, is about two teens,
                                     selections, in this age of digital remixing and remastering,       Piper and Mahree, who come from opposite parts of the
                                     there should be no need.                                           world and points of view but are able to bridge their dif-
                                         It is the liner note booklets that really set this series      ferences. Piper, an African American living in Washington,
                                     apart from other world music releases. The producers put           D.C., convinces her family to host an exchange student from
                                     the music into a geographical and historical context for the       Africa. The student they get is Mahree, an Afrikaner whose
                                     listener in a lengthy introduction. They follow this with          father also happens to be a policeman. Piper’s father, an out-
                                     descriptions of each performer, including a brief biography        spoken Congressman trying to rally support for U.S. sanc-
                                     and a synopsis of the significance of their musical contribu-      tions against South Africa’s apartheid regime, is incensed at
                                     tion to the genre. The booklets end with a track list contain-     the thought of hosting a white South African. After a period
                                     ing information from the original recordings and photo-            of great tension and fear between Mahree and Piper and her
                                     graphs of the original album covers. These anthologies give        family, the teens gradually begin to see past their color and
                                     the listener the opportunity to experience musical history         politics. The two girls become close friends, and the family
                                     without an extensive or expensive research effort.                 embraces Mahree.
                                                                             — Christine Condaris          Set in 1977, the story is told at a time of escalating vio-
                                                                Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts   lence in South Africa following the arrest and murder of black
                                     12-1-0153                                                          activist Stephen Biko. Against this historical backdrop, the
                                     The Rough Guide to the Music of the Appalachians.                  bridge of friendship and understanding that is built between
                                     London: World Music Network, 2002. 65 minutes, CD. $16.98.         Mahree and Piper’s family is all the more poignant. The video
                                                                                                        challenges viewers to wrestle with difficult issues such as cul-
                                        This compilation offers 19 selections of music from the         tural stereotyping, institutionalized racism, and government
                                     mountain range area that stretches from Maine to Georgia.          oppression. It demonstrates how barriers of prejudice can be
                                     Because it is geographically isolated, the music of Appalachia     broken down when people are treated as unique individuals
                                     developed in relative seclusion and was made, for the most         rather than stereotypes.
                                     part, on homemade instruments. Fiddles, banjos, har-                  The acting and production are first-rate. Accompanying
                                     monicas, and dulcimers were played in styles with roots in         the video is a teacher’s guide full of thoughtful discussion
                                     African-American, West African, Celtic, and European tradi-        questions and other activities to use the film in a meaningful
                                     tions. This music was not written down but rather passed           lesson on racial equality. Highly recommended for middle
                                     from generation to generation orally.                              and high school library collections.
                                        One of the most interesting aspects of this sampler
                                     recording is the variety of song lyrics. White country gospel                                                      — Ed Sullivan
                                     tunes are juxtaposed with murder ballads and themes of                                                          Univ. of Tennessee
                                     homesickness and lost loves. Among others, the track list
 MultiCultural review • MarCh 2003




                                     contains two Grammy Award–winning bluegrass ensembles:             12-1-0155
                                     the Cox Family performing “Another Lonesome Morning”               Friedman, Ina R. Escape or Die: True Stories of Young
                                     and Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys with “Two             People Who Survived the Holocaust. Brookline, Mass.:
                                     Coats.” Selections also include Grammy-nominated vocalist          Lodgepole Press, 2002. 44 minutes. Color. ISBN 1-886721-
                                     Claire Lynch with “God Spoke His Name” and nominee ban-            03-3, $19.95.
                                     joist Peter Rowan with “Wild Geese Cry Again.” The popular
                                     old-time singer Ginny Hawker performs “My Warfare Will                This set of monologues narrates the brutal events of World
                                     Soon Be Over,” while the well-known old-time fiddler Rafe          War II from the viewpoint of Jewish fugitives and captives of
                                     Stafanini plays “I’ve Got No Honey Baby Now.” Norman               the German Nazi regime. It provides a children’s perspective
                                     Blake, an artist featured on Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and       with which young viewers can identify. The three protago-
                                     his wife Nancy sing “Hello Stranger.”                              nists reveal their emotional reactions and the challenges of


106
taking adult responsibility in life-threatening circumstances.
The film raises moral questions through detailed depictions of
unthinkable inhumanity: demonization and exclusion, concen-
tration into ghettos and camps, and the gas chambers of Hitler’s
Final Solution. We hear of the tearing of the cultural fabric of
                                                                     Ad Index           advertiser index
                                                                     Bloomsbury Children’s Books . . . . . . . .104
Eastern Europe under invasion and the disbelief of these young-
sters stripped of citizenship and basic human rights. We consider    Children’s Press/Franklin Watts . . . . . . . .2
the dilemmas of these victims, forced to choose either an uneasy
                                                                     Coffee House Press. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
compliance with or a fatal resistance to brute force.
    The video offers a relatively static presentation, mainly        Crizmac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
monologues with a few photographic stills. Friedman’s delivery
is relatively lackluster, visually unstimulating, awkwardly spo-     Culture Grams/Axiom Press . . . . . . . . . .33
ken, gapped by pauses. Though this film is labeled for ages 12
                                                                     Dahesh Heritage Bookstore . . . . . . . . . . .22
to adult, it is more appropriate for younger audiences, with one
vital caveat: elements of graphic violence must be previewed for     Feminist Press. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
advisability in any instructional situation. The entire piece may
be viewed in a class period, or separate narratives may be viewed    Gale Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
and discussed. Friedman’s usage of the epithet “German” when
                                                                     Greenwood/Libraries Unlimited . . . . . .108
referring to the perpetrators of the above-mentioned war crimes
is oversimplified and problematic.                                   The Goldman Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
                                                — Joan Goodman
                                                      Albany, N.Y.   Hyperion Books for Children . . . . .52, 117

                                                                     Ileon.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118

                                                                     Northland Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

                                                                     OCLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

                                                                     Penguin Academic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9, 103

                                                                     Pioneer Living Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

                                                                     Rosen Publishing Group . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

                                                                     Spinster’s Ink Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

                                                                     The Child’s World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119

                                                                     University of New Mexico Press . . . . . . .57

                                                                     VOYA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106



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