Thursday, February 16, 2017

Random Reviews

Please enjoy this selection of reviews from various sources:

"Identity Unknown" by Donna Seaman
Female creators rise in all their splendor and defiance in Donna Seaman’s wonderful new book that chronicles the lives of seven American artists. These women, one of whom died only in 2007, have already been mostly forgotten by the art world, which Seaman sees as inexcusable and here does her best to correct. 

"Dracula's Wars: Vlad The Impaler and His Rivals" by James Waterson
..... a history of the Balkans from about the mid-thirteenth century through the late fifteenth, setting the stage for Vlad’s life and career as Prince of Wallachia, a post he attained three times, being twice ousted, as well as the fallout from his reign.
Source: Strategy Page

"Once We Were Sisters" by Sheila Kohler
This many-layered memoir, rich in texture and suggestion, executed with a novelist’s eye for oblique human suffering, is her devastating reckoning with the past. A powerful memoir from an acclaimed novelist reveals a past of privilege, violence and possibly murder.
Source: The Guardian

"The Spy" by Paul Coelho
Paulo Coelho's latest bestseller 'The Spy' is different from his characteristic genre of spiritual quests and journeys. In a sense, 'The Spy' is the story of a woman's journey, but more than that, it is the story of legendary Mata Hari retold as "history told from below", by a woman with a feminist voice. 

"Hame" by Annalena McAfee
The novel tells the story of Mhairi McPhail, a historian whose domestic set-up in New York has fallen apart and who takes up an offer to write a new biography of recently deceased Scots poet Grigor McWatt, and to curate a new museum dedicated to his life and work. The museum, naturally enough, is to be sited on the Scottish island which was the celebrated McWatt’s home, Fascaray. 

"Edith Craig and the Theatres of Art" by Katharine Cockin
Edith (Edy) Craig (1869-1947) was an inspirational and important Modernist theatre-maker, but it is only in the past 30 years that her significance as a director, costumier, pageant-maker, feminist, lesbian and suffrage activist has been appreciated. Her “laughing self-effacement” was probably one reason she came close to being written out of mainstream theatre history, except as a footnote to the career of her celebrated mother, Ellen Terry, one of the leading performers of her age.

"Life in the Lower Manning Valley: the first 30 years of settlement" by Katherine Bell 
The book covers of number of themes of colonial history, including the lives of convicts, settlers, emancipists, immigrants, and Aboriginal people.

"Eat Me" by Bill Schutt
.... the history of cannibalism: it’s an irresistible story, all the more horrific because eating human flesh is something any of us might, in extremis, be forced to do, or could, in theory, do without even realising; but the stories have long been more compelling than the actual evidence.
Source: The Guardian

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