General book blog.

Testimony by Charles Reznikoff. Boston. 2015. David Godine/black sparrow. Introduction by Eliot Weinberger. 6 × 9. 480 pages. December 2014. paperback. 9781567925319.



9781567925319FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A major work by an essential American poet, published in full for the first time. Available again for the first time since 1978—and complete in one volume for the first time ever— Charles Reznikoff ’s Testimony is a lost masterpiece, a legendary book that stands alongside Louis Zukofsky’s ‘A’ and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson as a milestone of modern American poetry. Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Reznikoff ’s book sets forth a stark panorama of late19th- and early 20th-century America—the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease—in a radically stripped-down language of almost unbearable intensity. This edition also includes Reznikoff ’s prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by essayist Eliot Weinberger. ‘[Testimony] is perhaps Reznikoff’s most important achievement as a poet. A quietly astonishing work. .. at once a kaleidoscope vision of American life and the ultimate test of Reznikoff ’s poetic principles.. .’ – Paul Auster. ‘Reznikoff ’s astonishingly engaging and quietly powerful work has been steadily gaining a passionate following.. .. Testimony is a chronicle of industrial accidents, domestic violence, racism. It tells the story of America’s forgotten, those who suffer without redress, without name, without hope; yet the soul of these States is found in books like this; the acknowledgment of these peripheral stories turns a waste land into holy ground.’ – Charles Bernstein.


Reznikoff CharlesCharles Reznikoff was born in Brooklyn in 1894. He graduated from law school and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced, instead pursuing his writing. Between 1918 and 1961 he published twenty-three books of poetry and prose, gaining a wider readership in 1962, when New Directions published By the Waters of Manhattan: Selected Verse; a second selection, By the Well of Living and Seeing, was published by Black Sparrow in 1974, followed by the Complete Poems and Holocaust. Reznikoff died in 1975, at the age of eighty-one. Eliot Weinberger is an acclaimed essayist, translator, and editor. His essays are collected in Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale, Outside Stories, Works On Paper, and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles (all available from New Directions). His writing appears frequently in The New York Review of Books and The London Review of Books.




Harvey, David . Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason. New York. 2017. Oxford University Press. 9780190691486. 240 pages. hardcover. 


9780190691486FROM THE PUBLISHER -


Karl Marx's Capital is one of the most important texts written in the modern era. Since 1867, when the first of its three volumes was published, it has had a profound effect on politics and economics in theory and practice throughout the world. But Marx wrote in the context of capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century: his assumptions and analysis need to be updated in order to address to the technological, economic, and industrial change that has followed Capital's initial publication. In Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey not only provides a concise distillation of his famous course on Capital, but also makes the text relevant to the twenty-first century's continued processes of globalization. Harvey shows the work's continuing analytical power, doing so in the clearest and simplest terms but never compromising its depth and complexity. Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason provides an accessible window into Harvey's unique approach to Marxism and takes readers on a riveting roller coaster ride through recent global history. It demonstrates how and why Capital remains a living, breathing document with an outsized influence on contemporary social thought.



Harvey DavidDavid Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School, where he has taught since 2001. His course on Marx's Capital, developed with students over 40 years, has been downloaded by over two million people since appearing online in 2008. He is also the author of The Enigma of Capital, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, and The Ways of the World.







Walrond, Eric. In Search of Asylum: The Later Writings of Eric Walrond. Gainseville. 2011. University Press of Florida. 9780813035604. Edited by Louis J. Parascandola and Carl A. Wade. 6 x 9, illustrations. 224 pages. hardcover. Front cover: Eric Walrond, by Winold Reiss, pastel on board, ca, 1925. 


9780813035604FROM THE PUBLISHER - 


‘A substantial step forward for black diaspora and black transnational literary studies.’--Gary Edward Holcomb, author of Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha. ‘Fills a significant void in our understanding of the life and literary career of Eric Walrond. By collecting, for the first time, the writings Walrond produced following his departure from the U.S. in 1928, Parascandola and Wade have done scholars a rich service.’--Heather Hathaway, author of Caribbean Waves. Eric Walrond is one of the great underexamined figures of the Harlem Renaissance and the Caribbean diaspora. Very little of his later work has been subsequently published or made readily available to American scholars. His writings, set in the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe, discuss imperialism, racism, the role of the black writer, black identity, and immigration--all topics of vital concern today. Born in British Guiana (now Guyana), Walrond moved to New York City in 1918 where he worked briefly for Marcus Garvey and became a protégé of Charles S. Johnson. During that time, he wrote short fiction as well as nonfiction and gained a measure of fame for his 1926 collection, Tropic Death. In Search of Asylum compiles Walrond’s European journalism and later fiction, as well as the pieces he wrote during the 1950s at Roundway Hospital in Wiltshire, England, where he was a voluntary patient. Louis Parascandola and Carl Wade have assembled a collection that at last fills in the biographical gaps in Walrond’s life, providing insights into the contours of his later work and the cultural climates in which he functioned between 1928 and his death in 1966.


Walrond EricEric Walrond (December 18, 1898 - August 8, 1966) born in Georgetown, British Guiana, in 1898, was the son of a Barbadian mother and a Guyanese father. His first eight years were spent in Guiana. But his parents’ marital difficulties led Walrond into an almost wayfaring existence. In 1906, his father abandoned Walrond and his mother. His mother moved the two of them to a small village in Barbados to live with their relatives. Walrond began his education in Barbados at St. Stephen’s Boys’ School, located in Black Rock. Around 1910, Walrond and his mother traveled in search of his father to the Panama Canal Zone, where thousands of west Indians and Guyanese were employed to dig the canal. Walrond and his mother never found his father and they made a home in Colon. It is in Colon where Walrond completed his public and secondary school education between 1913 and 1916. During his education in Colon, Walrond was exposed to the Spanish culture and became bilingual. Around this time he was trained as a secretary and stenographer, and acquired a job as a clerk in the Health Department of the Canal commission at Cristobal. Through the years 1916 and 1918 he began a journalistic career which he pursued while in the United States. Walrond worked as a general reporter, court reporter, and sportswriter for the Panama Star-Herald, ‘the most important contemporaneous newspaper in the American tropics.’ Walrond was also associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In the early 1920s he published short stories in periodicals such as the Opportunity, Smart Set, and Vanity Fair. In 1923, he wrote ‘On Being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ and ‘The Stone Rebounds.’ Walrond’s stories focused on a realistic presentation of racial situations in New York City. In 1924 he focused on a more impressionistic presentation of life in the American tropics. He did not return to the realistic form of writing until 1927, when he wrote ‘City Love,’ which is the last story he published before he left the United States. His works include - ‘On Being Black’ (1922); ‘On being a Domestic,’ ‘Miss Kenny’s Marriage,’ ‘The Stone Rebounds,’ ‘Cynthia Goes to the Prom,’ ‘The New Negro Faces America,’ ‘The Negro Exodus from the South’ (1923); ‘Vignettes of the Dusk,’ ‘The Black City’ (1924); ‘A Cholo Romance,’ ‘Imperator Africanus, Marcus Garvey: Menace or Promise?’ (1925); Tropic Death (1926); ‘City Love’ (1927).


Louis J. Parascandola, professor of English at Long Island University, is author or editor of six books, including "Look for Me All Around You": Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants in the Harlem Renaissance.


Carl A. Wade, senior lecturer in English at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, has published extensively on Caribbean American writers and writing.





Barraclough, Eleanor Rosamund . Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas. New York. 2016. Oxford University Press. 9780198701248. 52 color illustrations. 320 pages. hardcover. 


9780198701248FROM THE PUBLISHER -


In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen may be best remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, but this is far from the whole story. Throughout the Middle Ages, long-ships transported hairy northern voyagers far and wide, where they not only raided but also traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unfamiliar races, and embarked on pilgrimages and crusades. The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west across the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this world through the stories that the Vikings told about themselves in their sagas. But the depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders, and kings. To explore the sagas and the world that produced them, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough now takes her own trip through the dramatic landscapes that they describe. Along the way, she illuminates the rich but often confusing saga accounts with a range of other evidence: archaeological finds, rune-stones, medieval world maps, encyclopaedic manuscripts, and texts from as far away as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her journey across the Old Norse world shows, by situating the sagas against the revealing background of this other evidence, we can begin at least to understand just how the world was experienced, remembered, and imagined by this unique culture from the outermost edge of Europe so many centuries ago.



Barraclough Eleanor RosamundEleanor Rosamund Barraclough is a Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Durham University. In 2013 she was chosen as one of ten BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers, in a competition to find young academics with the potential to turn their research into programmes for broadcast. Eleanor's research often takes her to the chilly Nordic climes of Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland. Whilst researching this book, Eleanor had many far-flung adventures of her own: bumping along on the back of an Icelandic horse whilst exploring Norse ruins in Greenland, sailing ice fjords under the midnight sun with a caribou hunter, and searching for Norse rune-stones in Sweden. Her proudest moment came when travelling across Arctic Norway, where she was knighted with a walrus penis bone in Hammerfest and became a member of the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society.





Graeber, David. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Brooklyn/London. 2014. Melville House. 9781612194196. 542 pages. paperback. Cover design by Carol Hayes.

9781612194196FROM THE PUBLISHER -


The groundbreaking international best-seller that turns everything you think about money, debt, and society on its head—from the “brilliant, deeply original political thinker” David Graeber (Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me). Before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors—which lives on in full force to this day. So says anthropologist David Graeber in a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Renaissance Italy to Imperial China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today.



Graeber DavidDavid Rolfe Graeber (February 12, 1961 – September 2, 2020) was an American anthropologist, anarchist activist, and author known for his books Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011), The Utopia of Rules (2015) and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory (2018). He was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. As an assistant and later associate professor of anthropology at Yale University from 1998 to 2007, Graeber specialized in theories of value and social theory. Yale's decision not to rehire him when he would otherwise have become eligible for tenure sparked an academic controversy. He went on to become, from 2007 to 2013, reader in social anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His activism included protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and at the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan "We are the 99%". He accepted credit for the description "the 99%" but said that others had expanded it into the slogan.





Sciascia, Leonardo. The Knight and Death & One Way or Another. London. 1991. Granta Books. 1862075794. Translated from the Italian by Avril Bardoni. 155 pages. paperback. Design: random. Photograph: Getty/Stone. 




The Knight and Death two men — Sandoz, a prominent lawyer, and Aurispa, president of a large exchange mysterious handwritten corporation notes at a dinner party (a joke, or something more sinister?). Hours later Sandoz is murdered and the shadow of suspicion moves from Aurispa to a telephone call from the self-styled 'Children of Eighty-nine'. But are they really a terrorist threat, or a political red-herring created for the Italian media? One Way or Another is a chillingly prophetic work that ranks among the best of Sciascia. Among the oak and chestnut trees of an undefined and beautiful place, the narrator, a painter, chances upon an asphalt square with a cement palace built around it. A hotel? A hermitage? Or both? He recognizes the men entering the building as the industrial, religious, political and military chiefs of Italy. The rendezvous turns out to be an occasion for secret deals and fixes, as well as spiritual recreation. Everything appears to go according to plan until suddenly one guest is murdered, then another. ‘Leonardo Sciascia is in the very first rank of Italian writers ... his books are both lucid and mysterious; they address complex public subjects with clarity and elegance; they move with the pace of thrillers and have the resonance of poetry' Philip Hensher, Spectator.


Sciascia LeonardoLeonardo Sciascia (January 8, 1921 – November 20, 1989) was an Italian writer, novelist, essayist, playwright and politician. Some of his works have been made into films, including Open Doors (1990) and Il giorno della civetta (1968). Sciascia was born in Racalmuto, Sicily. In 1935 his family moved to Caltanissetta; here Sciascia studied under Vitaliano Brancati, who would become his model in writing and introduce him to French novelists. From Giuseppe Granata, future Communist member of the Italian Senate, he learned about the French Enlightenment and American literature. In 1944 he married Maria Andronico, an elementary school teacher in Racalmuto. In 1948 his brother committed suicide, an event which had a profound impact on Sciascia. Sciascia's first work, Favole della dittatura (“Fables of the Dictatorship”), a satire on fascism, was published in 1950 and included 27 short poems. This was followed in 1952 by La Sicilia, il suo cuore, also a poetry collection, illustrated by Emilio Greco. The following year Sciascia won the Premio Pirandello, awarded by the Sicily region, for his essay 'Pirandello e il pirandellismo.' In 1954 he began collaborating with literature and ethnology magazines published by Salvatore Sciascia in Caltanissetta. In 1956 he published Le parrocchie di Regalpetra, an autobiographic novel inspired by his experience as an elementary school teacher in his home town. In the same year he moved to teach in Caltanissetta, only to move again to Rome in 1957. In the autumn of that year he published Gli zii di Sicilia, including sharp views about themes such as the influence of the US and of communism in the world, and the 19th century unification of Italy. After one year in Rome, Sciascia moved back to Caltanissetta, in Sicily. In 1961 he published the mystery Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl), one of his most famous novels, and in 1963, the historical novel Il consiglio d'Egitto (The Council of Egypt), set in 18th-century Palermo. After a series of essays, in 1965 he wrote the play L'onorevole (The Honorable), a denunciation of the complicities between government and mafia. Another political mystery novel is 1966's A ciascuno il suo (To Each His Own). The following year Sciascia moved to Palermo. In 1969 he began a collaboration with Il Corriere della Sera. That same year he published the play Recitazione della controversia liparitana dedicata ad A.D., dedicated to Alexander Dubcek. In 1971 Sciascia returned again to mystery with Il contesto (The Challenge), which inspired Francesco Rosi's movie Cadaveri eccellenti (1976). The novel created polemics due to its merciless portrait of Italian politics. Same was the fate of Todo modo, in this case due to its description of Italian Catholic clergy. At the 1975 communal elections in Palermo, Sciascia ran as an independent within the Italian Communist Party (PCI) slate, and was elected to the city council. In the same year he published La scomparsa di Majorana, dealing with the mysterious disappearance of scientist Ettore Majorana. In 1977 he resigned from PCI, due to his opposition to any dealing with the Christian Democratic party. Later he would be elected to the Italian and European Parliament with the Radical Party. Sciascia last works include the essay collection Cronachette (1985), the novels Porte aperte (1987) and Il cavaliere e la morte (1988). He died in June 1989 at Palermo. A number of his books, such as The Day of the Owl (Il giorno della civetta) and Equal Danger (Il contesto), demonstrate how the Mafia manages to sustain itself in the face of the anomie inherent in Sicilian life. He presented a forensic analysis of the kidnapping and assassination of Aldo Moro, a prominent Christian Democrat, in his book The Moro Affair. Sciascia's work is intricate and displays a longing for justice while attempting to show how corrupt Italian society had become and remains. His linking of politicians, intrigue, and the Mafia gave him a high profile, which was very much at odds with his private self. This high profile resulted in his becoming widely disliked for his criticism of Giulio Andreotti, then Prime Minister, for his lack of action towards freeing Moro and answering the demands of the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades). Sciascia was part of a House of Deputies investigation into Moro's kidnapping, which concluded that there was a certain amount of negligence on the part of the Christian Democrat Party in their stance that the state was bigger than a person and that they would not swap Moro for 13 political prisoners, even though Moro himself had stated that the swapping of innocent people for political prisoners was a valid option in negotiations with terrorists. However, senior members of the party conveniently forgot this stance and even went as far as to say that Moro had been drugged and tortured to utter these words. Sciascia's books are rarely characterized by a happy end and by justice for the ordinary man. Prime examples of this are Equal Danger, in which the police's best detective is drafted to Sicily to investigate a spate of murders of judges. Focusing on the inability of authorities to handle such investigation into the corruptions, Sciascia's hero is finally thwarted. Sciascia wrote of his unique Sicilian experience, linking families with political parties, the treachery of alliances and allegiances and the calling of favors that result in outcomes that are not for the benefit of society, but of those individuals who are in favor. His 1984 opus Occhio di Capra is a collection of Sicilian sayings and proverbs gathered from the area around his native village, to which he was intensely attached throughout his life.





Trethewey, Natasha. Thrall: Poems. Boston/New York. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 9780547571607. 84 pages. hardcover. Jacket art: ‘Spaniard and Indian produce a Mestizo’, c.1715, oil on canvas by Juan Rodriguez Jaurez (1675-1728). Jacket design by Martha Kennedy. 


9780547571607FROM THE PUBLISHER -


The stunning follow-up volume to her 2007 Pulitzer Prize–winning NATIVE GUARD, by America’s new Poet Laureate. Natasha Trethewey’s poems are at once deeply personal and historical—exploring her own interracial and complicated roots—and utterly American, connecting them to ours. The daughter of a black mother and white father, a student of history and of the Deep South, she is inspired by everything from colonial paintings of mulattos and mestizos to the stories of people forgotten by history. Meditations on captivity, knowledge, and inheritance permeate THRALL, as she reflects on a series of small estrangements from her poet father and comes to an understanding of how, as father and daughter, they are part of the ongoing history of race in America. THRALL confirms not only that Natasha Trethewey is one of our most gifted and necessary poets but that she is also one of our most brilliant and fearless.



Trethewey NatashaNatasha Trethewey (born April 26, 1966) is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in June 2012; she began her official duties in September. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, and she is the Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, where she also directs the Creative Writing Program. Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on 26 April 1966, Confederate Memorial Day, to Eric Trethewey and Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, who were married illegally at the time of her birth, a year before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws with Loving v. Virginia. Her birth certificate noted the race of her mother as ‘colored’, and the race of her father as ‘Canadian’. Trethewey's mother was part of the inspiration for Native Guard, which is dedicated to her memory. Trethewey's parents divorced when she was young and Turnbough was murdered in 1985 by her second husband, whom she had recently divorced, when Trethewey was 19 years old. Recalling her reaction to her mother's death, she said, ‘that was the moment when I both felt that I would become a poet and then immediately afterward felt that I would not. I turned to poetry to make sense of what had happened’. Natasha Trethewey's father is also a poet; he is a professor of English at Hollins University. Trethewey earned her B.A. in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995. In May 2010 Trethewey delivered the commencement speech at Hollins University and was awarded an honorary doctorate. She had previously received an honorary degree from Delta State University in her native Mississippi. Structurally, her work combines free verse with more structured, traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle. Thematically, her work examines ‘memory and the racial legacy of America’. Bellocq's Ophelia (2002), for example, is a poem in the form of an epistolary novella; it tells the fictional story a mixed-race prostitute who was photographed by E. J. Bellocq in early 20th-century New Orleans. The American Civil War makes frequent appearances in her work. Born on Confederate Memorial Day - exactly 100 years afterwards - Trethewey explains that she could not have ‘escaped learning about the Civil War and what it represented’, and that it had fascinated her since childhood. For example, Native Guard tells the story of the Louisiana Native Guards, an all-black regiment in the Union Army, composed mainly of former slaves who enlisted, that guarded the Confederate prisoners of war. On 7 June 2012 James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, named her the 19th US Poet Laureate. Billington said, after hearing her poetry at the National Book Festival, that he was ‘‘immediately struck by a kind of classic quality with a richness and variety of structures with which she presents her poetry … she intermixes her story with the historical story in a way that takes you deep into the human tragedy of it.’





Holthe, Tess Uriza. When the Elephants Dance. New York. 2002. Crown. 0609609521. 369 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jennifer O'Connor. 




In the waning days of World War II, the Filipino people were caught between a brutal Japanese occupation and battling U.S. forces. In this compelling, incandescent novel, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, narrate the story of the Karangalans-a family who huddle with their neighbors in the cellar of a house near Manila to wait out the war. In their crowded refuge, the group shares magical stories of Filipino myth and legend. Spellbinding, with a dazzling array of ghosts, witches, supernatural creatures, and courageous Filipinos from history, these tales transport the listeners and give them new resolve to survive.



Holthe Tess UrizaTess Uriza Holthe is a Filipino-American writer, who was born and raised in Bernal Heights, San Francisco and is best known for her National Bestselling novel When the Elephants Dance. Growing up, she took advantage of her mother’s connection with the nearby library to borrow as many books as she could read. She also looked to her father’s stories about the Philippines (a technician in a nearby sweat shop) for the inspiration she would later use in her novel When the Elephants Dance. Tess holds a degree in accounting from Golden Gate University. Although she was raised to obtain a practical career, (which was either being a lawyer, doctor or an accountant) in her last year of college she enrolled in a writing class, only to find out she had a talent for writing. The Five-Forty-Five To Cannes was published in 2007 and cited as an American Library Association Notable Book, as well as named a 2007 notable book by the San Francisco Chronicle. When the Elephants Dance was published in 2002 and won the National Best-seller award, crowned the #1 Bestseller by the San Francisco Chronicle, Book Sense Top Ten, Ingram Premier Pick, Barnes & Noble Discover, and Borders' Original Voices Selection. The novel explores the retelling of supernatural tales based on indigenous Filipino mythology and Spanish-influenced novels, told from the perspective of a family hiding in a cellar during the last weeks of the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.





Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies. New York. 1932. Covici-Friede. 316 pages. hardcover. 


conjure man dies covici friede 1932FROM THE PUBLISHER -


Originally published in 1932, this book is the first known mystery novel written by an African-American. Rudolph Fisher, one of the principal writers of the Harlem Renaissance, becomes a ‘conjure-man’, a fortune teller, a mysterious figure who remains shrouded in darkness while his clients sit directly across from him, singly bathed in light. It is in this configuration that one of these seekers of the revelation of fate discovers he is speaking to a dead man.



Fisher Rudolph Rudolph Fisher (May 9, 1897 - December 26, 1934) was an African-American writer. His first published work, ‘City of Refuge’, appeared in the Atlantic Monthly Press of February 1925. He went on in 1932 to write The Conjure-Man Dies, the first black detective novel. Fisher was also a physician (with a specialty in radiology), dramatist, musician and orator. Fisher was an active participant in the Harlem Renaissance, primarily as a novelist, but also as a musician. Born in Washington, DC in the late nineteenth century, Fisher grew up in Providence, Rhode Island graduating from Classical High School and attending Brown University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brown in 1919 and received a Master of Arts a year later. He went on to attend Howard University Medical School and graduated in 1924. Fisher married Jane Ryder in 1925, and they had one son, Hugh, who was born in 1926. Fisher died in 1934 at the age of 37.






Hayslip, Le Ly (with Jay Wurts). When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. New York. 1989. Doubleday. 0385247583. 368 pages. hardcover. 



When Heaven and Earth Changed Places is a 1989 memoir by Le Ly Hayslip about her childhood during the Vietnam War, her escape to the United States, and her return to visit Vietnam 16 years later. The Oliver Stone film Heaven & Earth was based on the memoir. The book was written with Jay Wurts, an Bay Area-based writer and editor. Hayslip's memoir was hailed as a previously neglected look at the war from the perspective of the Vietnamese peasants whose lives were upended. A review in The Washington Post wrote that, "to Americans, almost always, the peasants of Vietnam were part of the scenery of the war, no more." The book was also praised for its message about the horrors of war. A review by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David K. Shipler for The New York Times wrote "If Hollywood has the courage to turn this book into a movie, then we Americans might finally have a chance to come to terms with the tragedy in Vietnam." The Washington Post reviewer wrote: "It should not be missed by anyone -- especially anyone who still thinks there is anything noble or glorious about war."



Hayslip Le LyLe Ly Hayslip (born December 19, 1949) is a Vietnamese-American memoirist and humanitarian. Through her foundations, she has worked to rebuild cultural bridges between Vietnam and America following the Vietnam War.











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