Bright Star (2009)

[Happy birthday, Andy! Not that you read this, but maybe someone’ll tell you about it. Love, Your Sister.]

One of my study group members (I’m in law school) was, er, less than enthralled with whatever it was we were supposed to be doing so took a moment out to look up the upcoming movies for this week. One of them was described as ‘hot Regency chastity,’ I think by the New York Times, and was clearly a costume drama, so we made plans to see it as soon as possible. Directed by Jane Campion, it starts Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne and Ben Whishaw as the poet John Keats.

Fanny is young — late teens or early twenties — and rather more interested in fashion than poetry when she makes the acquaintance of John Keats and his friend and collaborator, Mr. (Charles Armitage) Brown. The two come into closer acquaintance and then fall in love, despite the fact that Keats has less than no money and Fanny, whose father is dead, cannot marry him. Nonetheless, they enter into an affair of the heart, and although the world — and Keats’s health — conspire to keep them apart, they find ways to remain together. Continue reading Bright Star (2009)

Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Meri Nana-Ama Danquah was born in Ghana, viagra 60mg and emigrated with her family at the age of six, in the mid-1970s. Her full-length memoir, Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey through Depression, was published in 1998 and immediately hailed as groundbreaking, being that it was the first work published by an African-American person dealing with depression. Since then, in addition to her writing career, she has been an advocate for mental health education, especially for Black women. Ms. Danquah has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College and has been published in a rather impressive list of magazines, journals, and newspapers. In addition to that, she has edited two collections (this one and Becoming American) and has written quite a bit of fiction.

This is, as the title says, a collection of new fiction and memoir by Black women (published since 1990; capitalization is the editor’s). It includes, as Ms. Danquah says in the introduction, younger authors: generally under 40 at the time of publication. The table of contents is fairly long and complicated, since many of the works are excerpts from longer pieces, so I will provide a link to the Google Books version of it: here. I had not heard of any of the authors prior to reading this volume, partly because the women included are all younger than the Alice Walker-Toni Morrison-Maya Angelou-Gloria Naylor bunch. Many of them were born after Dr. King was assassinated, and all of them have received acclaim as writers from many different sources. Continue reading Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women, edited by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

This is Me, Jack Vance!, by Jack Vance

Mr. Vance is at least self-aware enough to put “Or more properly, hospital This is I!” on the title page, sale so I feel better about the book and him as a person. Apparently he’s really well-known and has been publishing books and short stories for about sixty years; despite his prolific output, occasional convention appearances, and friendships with other major writers (Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert), his personal life is apparently rather unknown. However, he has written in three major genres (science fiction, fantasy, and mystery) and has won two Hugos, a Nebula, a Jupiter Award, an Edgar (mystery equivalent of a Hugo), and two World Fantasy awards. In addition to that, he’s a SFWA Grandmaster.

This isn’t a novel, actually — it’s an autobiography. It’s 208 pages of Jack Vance being relatively candid and actually talking about his entire life. It will be published by Subterranean Press later this year. He had the fortune to live during a very interesting time — he was born in 1916 — and has traveled to an insane amount of places. In some ways, the book is sort of a travelogue. It’s relatively chronological — it starts at the beginning and ends with him describing his current situation — but doesn’t necessarily follow every event in order. He rambles a bit, and digresses often, but it’s probably the only source for so much of the information one might want to know about Mr. Vance. Continue reading This is Me, Jack Vance!, by Jack Vance