Category Archives: Books

The Zwarte Piet Debacle From the Outside, Again

zwarte clownOkay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading

Adrift in Books

007_edited-1Today’s writing prompt is the perfect excuse to revisit the post about my raft book collection.

I’m not big on collections. I used to be. I had all sorts of collections. If I saw something I liked, I would start a collection. Until I felt that I was surrounding myself with things just for the sake of surrounding myself with things, and I got rid of most of them. Continue reading

Famine, War and Love: a Novel

famine, war and love

Image: amazon.com

A reader of my blog recently published a novel and he has been kind enough to send me a signed copy!

The story makes the connection between the famines of Ireland in the nineteenth century, the Netherlands during the Hunger Winter of 1944-1945 under German occupation, and Ethiopia in the early 1980s,  thus bringing into view the universality of the effects of hunger, war and displacement. Continue reading

Dinner and books in an Austin Strip Mall

pamuk-xlarge

Image: telegraph.co.uk

R and I looked on Yelp for a place to eat in north Austin this evening, and we ended up in Troy, a Turkish/Mediterranean place in a little strip mall where we had been once before, a couple of years ago. Continue reading

Refueling: Filling my Tank With Drukwerk and Stroops

immigration, homesickness, refuleing, stroopwafels, drukwerk, doe maar, andre hazes, dutch food, dutch pop musicWell, waddaya know? The daily writing prompt is “Recharge“, just as I was getting ready to write about refueling as an immigrant. Another term I learned recently, from Akhtar’s book Immigration and Identity.

What do you do to refuel (or recharge) as an immigrant–to get your home fix, as it were? Continue reading

Lies Your Teacher Told You

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It migrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No:  An Outsider on American Fascism, where it resides under the title:

“Lies My Teacher Told Me: A Look at American High School History Education”

The Assault: Part 10: Time Eternal

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It emigrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No:  An Outsider on American Fascism,

where it resides under the title:

Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective”