The influence and style is truly one of contemporary means, a collage so dense that it becomes wholly original itself. Pieces of Barthelme and Lipsyte and Lutz and Hempel and so many more are everywhere, with Klee’s imagination gluing it together in the biggest of ways.To read the rest of the review, visit Heavy Feather Review.
The pool was bleeding. Byron noticed, adrift in shade on my shark floater: an acorn hit him on the head and he’d opened his eyes to find it bobbing in the water, ribbons of red uncoiling beneath. Came and got me and I got mom and she got dad. “It’s not blood,” mom said, squinting. “What is it.” “Not blood,” dad agreed. No swimming till our pool guy Darren gave the OK. Byron and Mackenzie fought on the rock waterfall while he worked, Kenz fussing her bikini for tanline checks, Byron plugging the spout with his foot for fields of spray, gagging when he glimpsed the Runt’s flatness. That plus Darren’s screaming equipment plus Berkie pawing the door to go out were fucking up this Mozart piece, and just as I banged the piano shut, Kenzie materialized, dripping on hardwood. She did her who-wouldn’t-love-this smile, ran a tongue over top teeth. The braces were finally gone, but not the nightmares: threaded metal tightening, the crank when gum and bone pulled apart.To read the rest of the story, visit The Lit Hub.
To read the rest of the review, visit The Film Stage.
The personal and political life of Eastwood is here, as well, right down to his infamous dialogue with an invisible” Barack Obama — well, a chair, really — at the 2012 Republican National Convention. “It is possible the memory [of Eastwood’s appearance] will never fade,” writes McGilligan, and while that may be true, far more time is spent on the man’s cinematic output. The book is a weighty, hugely informative effort, one befitting a subject of Eastwood’s continued importance.
To read the rest of the piece, visit the New York Times.
After last summer’s horrors, most Gazans simply want to secure a better life for their children. International donors, including Arab states, must transform pledges into facts. The United States and the European Union must find a moral commitment to assist Palestinians who are striving for freedom and control over their lives.
Though its name did not always appear alongside those of the NGOs and high-profile advocacy groups, the Gulf Labor Coalition has played a key role in raising awareness of labor exploitation, especially in the UAE. An international network of artists and writers, energetically focused on Abu Dhabi’s development of a new cultural zone on Saadiyat Island, Gulf Labor was able to do and say things that the more official organizations could not. Our creative approach to activism was inspired and innovative, and, in some respects, unique in the field of labor advocacy. More decisive was the position of our artist members as coordinators of cultural value, with some leverage over the politics of constructing museum branches of the Guggenheim and Louvre on Saadiyat.To read the rest of the excerpt, visit TruthDig.
This book tells the story of the seven weeks of Operation Protective Edge, launched by Israel in July 2014, from the perspective of the people of Gaza. Each chapter is a journalistic record of what is happening as seen through the eyes of Mohammed Omer. The writing is clear, concise and evocative whilst remaining professionally detached. Within that attempt to provide a detached, historical record, a sense of deep and burning anger shines brightly without ever detracting from the author’s task. That task, it seems to me, as Eduardo Galeano argues in Days and Nights of Love and War (Monthly Review Press 2000), is to ‘make audible the voice of the voiceless’ (Galeano, p.8) and so to expose the ‘distorted reality’ (Omer, p.8) in which the people of Gaza live. In this, the author absolutely succeeds and it is a crucial task as the ‘Palestinian narrative is underrepresented in the media’ (p.10). Not only is this view underrepresented, but the horrific human cost in terms of lives lost and people being forced into abject, inhumane conditions, is rarely if ever told when covering this or any conflict. The inhumanity of violence and its consequences told through real-life stories is an essential lesson about this or any conflict.To read the rest of the review, visit Counterfire.
To read the rest of the review, visit Tears in the Fence.
The sentences are rich in rhythms, asides and resonate with biographical detail creating a memorable persona. The reader tends to look back on the long list as a conceit, a way into the deeper layers of language, and wants more engagement with the nature and uses of language. This then becomes the point of the list an insistence on grappling with the use of words within lived experience and literature. The final note succinctly illustrates this with its combination of a probing, quizzical tone and continual search for the right word. The narrator drew lessons from his Aunt and her witty and joyous list. Who would not like to discover more about such words as fent, spall, fard, slub, doce, pelf, frit, sot, ort and orse? Cess: A Spokening has a power and pointed veracity as a language game and fiction of distinction.
To read the rest of the review, visit Electronic Intifada.
“Shell-shocked” is a term that was used commonly to describe veterans of the First World War suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the term more commonly used today. One year after the onslaught, the whole of Gaza remains in the cross-hairs, the whole of Gaza remains an open-air prison, and this account leaves little doubt that the whole of Gaza must inevitably be shell-shocked.
To read the rest of the interview, visit New York Institute for the Humanities.
In your forthcoming book Love In The Anthropocene, you use fiction and essays to imagine a future where the environment has been profoundly altered by climate change. What made you want to explore this topic through fiction and essays? The first climate change paper I wrote in 1988 talked about how bloodless and abstract scientific concepts such as “global mean surface temperature” are, and said that if you want people to understand what it would be like to live in a climate change world you would have to write stories. It took me about 30 years to get to it, but finally the stories are here! Stories can do many things that my academic writing cannot do nearly as successfully. The two most important to me are these. First, climate change is happening in a world in which lots of other things are happening, too—technological change, growing inequality, political unrest, and so on. What happens to professors is that we fixate on the particular topic of our own research (e.g., climate change, ethnic conflict, whatever), and then act as if that’s the only thing that’s going on in the world. That’s part of why so many of us are bores at parties (“Enough about me,” says an academic at a party, “what do you think of my book?”). Writing stories forces you to think more holistically. The second thing I’m especially interested in is what you might call “the banality of climate change.” It was the psychologist Daniel Kahneman who first got me thinking about this. He’s talked and written a lot about why it is that disabled people tend to report higher levels of subjective happiness than non-disabled people would imagine. Part of the answer, according to Danny, is because, disabled or not, most of us think about love, money, jobs, and so on rather than our disabilities or lack of them. Our abilities and disabilities are things that we mostly take for granted—they are part of the baseline from which we judge our happiness. On the other hand, when you ask people to imagine what it would be like to be in some other physical state than they one they are actually in (e.g., paraplegic), they focus laser-like attention on that state, and so exaggerate its importance. I started thinking that something like is true when we think about climate change. For most people climate change will become part of the baseline. In a climate change world, middle class people will think about what they think about in this world—jobs, status, money, and so on, with of course love being at the center. It might be harder to get these things in the world we’re creating—and for people at the bottom the suffering will broaden and intensify—but unless the absolute worst scenarios come true, for many well-off people climate change will just be part of the background of their lives. This is very hard to express outside of fiction in a way that is both compelling, and also conveys how truly horrifying this really is, at least to me.
To read the rest of the review, visit Leena van Deventer's blog.
I often say it’s hard to speak up against injustice when you’re on your own, but with other women behind you, you feel like you can do anything. This book brings a gift to those who read it; Lean Out immediately provides 19 siblings to women feeling isolated and struggling to find their place in tech culture.
People around Clint, those that work for him, won’t talk without his permission. Even many people who had known him for years — or hadn’t seen him in years — wouldn’t talk to me without his permission. They did not get that permission. He has been the master of his own image and publicity. He is a very different kind of actor than Jack, and a different kind of person — and people feared his reaction in a way that was not true of Jack. On the other hand, Clint has left many people behind in his career — personally and professionally — in problematic ways; and many people had never been approached before for their views of and experiences with him. More than one key person left behind told me that I was the first person who had ever asked for an interview about Clint. And for the first time, in any of my books, many people asked to speak to me “off the record” or went “off the record” during their interviews. I tended not to use what was off the record, but what I heard informed my portrait.To read the rest of the interview, visit Salon.
One of the problems of writing about the current situation in the Middle East, as Glass, a veteran journalist, knows only too well, is that today’s certainties are tomorrow’s laughable speculations. Iran may still refer to the US as the “Great Satan”, but the two states now share some strategic interests. Although the US used to insist that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must step down, it is now considering the very real possibility that he could survive the war and, like America’s lamentable “red line” of chemical weapons, what was unthinkable recently could soon be the acceptable status quo. But if news moves fast, assessments have not, which is one reason why we should all read Syria Burning.To read the rest of the review, visit The Observer.
The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor is lively, opinionated and eye-opening book. It is an important publication because of the realities it reveals and investigates. But it does more than that. The essays it contains can be read as a series of lessons for anyone, journalists, artists or activists, who want to take a stand, protest and challenge every complicit element leading to a situation of abuse and injustice.To read the rest of the review, visit We Make Money Not Art.
In 1977, when I was 23 and working to create a career as a folksinger, I occasionally ran into middle-aged, British male folksingers whose music I admired who told me I was pushy to approach people for work, and that when I was good enough people would let me know by offering me bookings. The question of how they would know was never addressed. I didn't think they were sexist, just out of touch and with poor business sense, maybe because 20 years earlier that approach actually worked for them. These guys were a tiny minority and they had no control over my career. Now imagine that you're in a business where almost everyone around you is like that and they're your co-workers, managers, bosses, and they can control your life. That is the experience recounted by the many authors of Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture. They work -- or, sometimes, worked -- in start-ups and major companies, in venture capital firms and research labs, mostly in Silicon Valley.To read the rest of the review, visit ZDNet.
To read the rest of the review, visit Middle East Monitor.
Timely and filled with harrowing accounts of life on the ground during Israel's brutal carnage in the tiny, besieged coastal enclave, Omer's eyewitness dispatches make a profound contribution to our understanding of Gaza's tragic plight. In 300 pages, Shell-Shocked bears testimony to Omer's extraordinary professionalism and amazing tenacity to capture in words the horror unleashed by the occupying power, Israel.
To read the rest of the article, visit Mondoweiss.
Gulf Labor Coalition (GLC) creatively interjected Palestinian resistance and BDS into the 56th International Contemporary Art Exhibition 2015 Venice Biennale, in Venice Italy on Sunday. GLC’s exhibition artists in residence, G.U.L.F. (Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction), staged an intervention performance adding a stencil of Handala to their exhibition banner hung prominently in the Pavilion Arsenale exhibition hall, read a ‘Statement on Palestine’ and occupied the 2nd floor of the Israeli Pavilion at the exhibit, with visitors in tow.
To read the rest of the review, visit Words Without Borders.
Cuba in Splinters is the portable homeland that I brought from Cuba. It's a literary miracle rescued from the solemn censorship on the Island. It's a bunker of outlaws resisting the barbarity of cultural collectivism.
To read the rest of the review, visit Wendy Grossman's blog.
I spent some time this week reading Lean Out: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Tech and Start-Up Culture, a collection of essays, articles, and blog postings written by 25 women in, as you might guess, the technology field. Their collective experiences make depressing reading despite the courage, humor, and thoughtfulness with which they approach their various situations. Here we are in 2015, nearly 50 years since feminism became a mainstream movement, and, as the book's editor, Elissa Shevinsky, writes, many women are departing the technology industry because they find the conditions too hostile.
To read the rest of the review, visit HyperAllergic.
Attendees at Wednesday’s event, especially the Italians, seemed shocked by the revelations and asked the speakers questions after the conference. Even though Italian media have reported on labor conditions for migrant workers in the UAE in the past, the issue seems virtually unknown to the Biennale public. Hopefully, the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence in Venice will help remedy this.
"Parents are afraid to send their children to school. They're afraid to go to any community events, weddings or funerals, because drones are known to target weddings and funerals. It's a terrifying thing, to live under drones."To watch the rest of the interview, visit C-SPAN.