Category Archives: Books

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

image: dutchcommunity.com

image: dutchcommunity.com

Well, 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

image: sundown.afro.illinois.edu

image: sundown.afro.illinois.edu

So yesterday’s post set the stage for James W. Loewen’s book Lies My Teacher Told Me. It was first published in 1995 and then updated in 2007. Loewen points out a lot of the same things I mentioned in yesterday’s post. In addition, he found that high school students generally rank history as the least relevant subject, even less relevant and interesting than algebra. (No offence, math teachers.) Continue reading

This Country Great Again

image: huffingtonpost.com

image: huffingtonpost.com

The angry goldfish at the top of the GOP presidential candidate polls is blaming all the country’s woes on a vulnerable group in society–undocumented immigrants in this case. Continue reading

The Assault: Part 10: Time Eternal

Image: Jan Breughel the elder: Orpheus in the Underworld

Image: Jan Breughel the elder: Orpheus in the Underworld

The tinkering with time and events, which I addressed in the previous post, leads us to what Mulisch calls “time eternal;” the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective. Continue reading

The Assault: Part 9: Familiar Imagery

demonstratieAlthough Mulisch demonstrates, especially in the case of the names of the houses and the signs in the gravel, that even the symbols disappear, and even though he explicitly claims within The Assault that it is fiction, Dutch readers, especially in the 1980s, recognized many of the historical aspects of the novel. In fact, history is so cleverly woven together with fiction that many readers thought the whole story was factual. The Belgian television even came to film at the location of the assault, but they could not find it (1). Continue reading