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Let Me Stand Alone: the Journals of Rachel Corrie by Rachel Corrie
The heart-wrenching journals, letters and poems of Rachel Corrie, the most courageous American of the new century. Her voice in this volume speaks out in an immortal call for justice, a voice that can’t be silenced by the blade of any bulldozer. Perhaps one day soon her parents, Craig and Cindy, will get a measure of justice for the unspeakable crime done to their daughter. A beautiful and bittersweet volume.
The World That Made New Orleans by Ned Sublette
A revelatory and evocative history of the most culturally diverse city in America, largely told through the strands of music pulsing down its streets, from jazz and blues, to Cuban beats and Cajun stomps.
Short-Order Frame Up by Ron Jacobs
Finally a novel about social and racial justice wrapped in the digestible genre of a murder mystery and set in Baltimore, a town that divides the north from the south and embodies the hopes and prejudices of post-60s America. Ron Jacobs, author of The Way the Wind Blew, a history of the Weather Underground, is an excellent journalist and Short-Order Frame Up is charged by its keen eye for historical detail and social conscience. But the devotion to context never interferes with the relentless pull of the story. A finely written but disturbing novel that probes the lingering bruises on the American psyche.
Danger On Peaks: Poems by Gary Snyder
In fragments of recollections, notes, prose and free-form poems, Gary Snyder, like his friend Kerouac a veteran of Cascade Mountain fire lookouts, weaves a thrilling tribute to Mount St. Helens and its role as eruptive symbol of a living planet, a world that hasn’t finished making and remaking itself. An ambitious and innovative poetic achievement that rivals William Carlos Williams’ "Paterson." Snyder’s most compelling volume of poems since Turtle Island.
* I’ve titled this column Booked Up after one of the great (now shuttered) bookstores in America, owned by novelist Larry McMurtry, where I once worked many, many years ago.
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book, Born Under a Bad Sky, will be published this spring. He can be reached at: email@example.com.