Monday, November 29, 2021
This excellent book has been kicking around my house for over a year. I'm not sure if it came from a library book sale or was loaned to me. I generally keep loaner books separate but I just don't know...'
Anyway, I finally picked it up and started in. And I loved it. I shouldn't have been surprised-- a National Book Award winner in 2002, a NYT Notable, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. A debut novel, no less.
And, I find, it was made into a movie.
Well, I don't get out much. And in 2002 I was so deep in writing my own stuff, that I didn't allow myself to begin a new book--only old favorites that I could dip into and put down.
Three Junes is a wonderful chronicle of family life, relations and interrelations, and the tangled webs woven by life. This excerpt from the National Book Award citation says it perfectly: " ...Julia Glass weaves gold into straw into gold again in this novel that proves to us that neither ancient privileges nor modern passions absolve us from the regrets, losses, comforts, and ineffable joys of family love. Perhaps not since E. M. Forster have we been led down the ladder of the generations with such simple majesty...
The characters are all people I was happy to spend time with and unhappy to leave when the book ended. But, aha! There quite a few more novels by Glass and the next, The Whole World Over, features some of these same folks.
Oh joy! Oh riches!
Saturday, November 27, 2021
NO MORE LEASH! It only took a couple of weeks of peeing and pooping in the house till The People released me on my own recognizance.
Friday, November 26, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
I'm a fan of Thanksgiving--when considered as a harvest festival and a gathering of family and friends. Uncontaminated by the pressure of gift-giving and/or religious observations, it's a nice holiday.
But I'm not talking about the sanitized Thanksgiving version I was taught in primary school, complete with Pilgrims in tall black construction paper hats and friendly Indians in construction paper feather headdresses, cheerfully sharing food with the same people who were stealing their land and would massacre and enslave many of them.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Another new dog! Claui and Josie brought back this Pit puppy from a recent jaunt to Arkansas. Her name is maybe Lottie or perhaps Otter or could be Dave . . . (me, I'm holding out for Bob.)
Jenny is fascinated by her--treating her as if it were her own puppy and licking her all over. The new pup will likely spend a fair bit of time with us--which will be good for Jenny.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
The not guilty on all counts in the Rittenhouse case just doesn't feel like any kind of justice. The letter of the law may have been followed but to my non-legal mind, seeing that person walking free is a mockery. There needs to be accountability. It's uncomfortably like the old joke about the fellas who killed his parent and pled for mercy because he was an orphan. It also raises a number of questions of my mind.
The first is: How would this case have played out if Rittenhouse had been a Black teenager, carrying a gun and feeling threatened? I suspect there would have been no case as the police would have shot him right away rather than ignoring him as they did at first.
The second question: What about "the duty to retreat" that I was taught in concealed carry class? And I seem to remember that it wasn't legal to kill in defense of property. No shooting the fella who's making off with your TV. Which would mean this young vigilante had no reason to be there defending others' property with his big gun. But maybe that's just in North Carolina--gun laws are different in every state.
Third: As the Right turns this sniveling little punk into a hero (truly worthy to be an intern to the likes of Gosnar, Cawthorne, and Gaetz) will we see even more gun-wielding teens, chaos tourists looking for thrills? Anti-abortion vigilantes in Texas, hunting down women suspected of seeking to terminate a pregnancy? Guns brandished freely everywhere?
Fourth: If I were all-powerful and unconstrained by technicalities like the letter of the law (because sometimes the law is an idiot,) what would be my judgement? I believe him when he says he feared for his life--he was in way over his head and that gun he was carrying offered a quick way out. But, considering that he put himself in that situation, I'd have to rule that he deserved a punishment. Yes, his victims put themselves in their situation also. But, boy, were they punished.
I think I'd be tempted to mandate that he enlist in the Marine Corps for a four-year hitch. Let him play with guns and pretend to be a big man there. And when he comes out, if he does, keep him on parole for a very long time. Do not allow him to become a mascot for the Proud Boys and their ilk.
Then I think I'd go after the gun laws. Since I'm all-powerful.
Friday, November 19, 2021
And the Crows Took Their Eyes is one of five finalists for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Prize, the winner to be announced in December! This is a Big Deal to me because it's a validation for the many years of research and writing that went into this book of my heart.
Below is information from the email I received. Crows is such good company--it's an honor to be included!
The WNC Historical Association presented the first Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award to Wilma Dykeman in 1955 for The French Broad. Last year the winner was Dr. Sandra Muse Isaacs for her nonfiction work, Eastern Cherokee Stories: A Living Oral Tradition And Its Cultural Continuance. Others who have received the award include Wiley Cash, John Ehle, Charles Frazier, Gail Godwin, Michael McFee, Robert Morgan, Ron Rash, Fiona Ritchie, and Lee Smith.
This year’s five finalists were chosen from a wide range of original nominations. Listed alphabetically by author last name, they are:
Mary Othella Burnette
Lige of the Black Walnut Tree: Growing Up Black in Southern Appalachia
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
Even As We Breathe: A Novel
And the Crows Took Their Eyes
All the Great Territories
The award ceremony will take place via Zoom this year on Thursday, December 9 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm via Zoom. .