#2 in Social Science top-reviewsFrom KIRKUS REVIEWS: "A collection of short stories and a novella that explore love, aging, loss and solitude from a feminist perspective. In the short stories, nearly all of Newbrough's memorable protagonists are older women, isolated in some way through circumstances or quirks of their personalities. In her forward, Newbrough explains that her intent is to explore how "despite a person's isolation or withdrawal the world persists within the self and transformation occurs as long as life endures." The novella, Child with Mannequin, most fully realizes the theme of transformation. The main character is an oil painting created as a gesture of maternal love but then ultimately stolen from the beloved daughter it depicts. The ambitious story envisions the painting as a mute yet intelligent observer of lives representing a broad cross section of New Orleans society from the early 20th century to the floods that accompanied Hurricane Katrina in 2004. Here, where life and death are both metaphor and fact, Newbrough's narrative carries significant weight. She makes clear how intellectual and emotional lives can transcend generations and how losses can be both permanent and permeable. A quietly compelling and intimate portrayal of lives whose final chapters often go largely unobserved. On the whole the prose of this collection is intelligent and evocative... Will be much appreciated by those interested in feminist literature and issues of aging." -- Kirkus Reviews "Thumbs up to ride in this womanist world-open road ahead, youth in the rear view mirror. These women want freedom-freedom for a big white dog, for the criminal, for a mother's art, for themselves, and for those they love. Any hitchhiker free enough to sit on a ghost lap, ride out Katrina, and catch a little Mardi Gras, stick out your thumb." -- Jo LeCoeur, Incarnate Word University, author of Blue New Orleans and Medicine Woods "What makes this collection stand out is not only the prose and pacing, the developed characters, or Newbrough's ability to capture, through the right amount of detail, the essence of place and its impact on its people, but also the stories themselves. Each story reveals the dance between age and emotion; between the past and the present; between what will pass away and what will pass on to new generations." -- Cynthia Kane, Pre-Press Reviews "Engaging glimpses into the trials, transitions, and triumphs of women and their companions. Anyone who enjoys drama and anticipation will find her characters and stories convincing and compelling, building to surprising conclusions. The variety of plots and settings give each narrative its own unique flavor, propelling the reader onward to the next encounter." -- Carolyn Merchant, U.C. Berkeley, author of The Death of Nature and Reinventing Eden "An interesting and provocative set of stories in which the author portrays her main characters, usually ordinary middle-aged or elderly women. The storiesreveal the impact of an encounter or chance event. The last story, a novella, ingeniously tells the "life" of a painting of child and mannequin with eyes that grip the viewer; it extends from the birth of the painting over many decades through deaths, theft, voodoo spell and flood, in several quarters of New Orleans." -- Ravenna Helson, University of California, Berkeley "[The novella is] a very interesting and unique premise, and a rich portrait of New Orleans." -- Beth Dingman, co-founder of New Victoria Press "What unites all of these stories is their humanity. It is as if we have landed right into life. The author has an artist's eye for the way things look, and an ear for the way people speak. Her voice and pace are distinctive: almost formal, languorous, but full of life and motion." -- Kristin L. Nelson, Professor of Psychology, Community College of New Jersey
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Reviewed by Andrea Wesley
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!] Date Added: Monday 06 April, 2015
This outstanding read features memorable characters and keeps you riveted in suspense, not with gimmicks but with intensely real situations.
|Size: ||1.1 MB|
|Publisher: ||Celeste Newbrough|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9780692408445 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|