The Turnaround is a solid read that offers a valuable glimpse into the lives of members of different communities, even if those characters seems forced or stereotypical at times. It seems as though Pelecanos has produced another solid, if predictable, book—one that will appease his current fans with an entertaining, thrilling story while reaching out to readers and residents, like myself, interested in the ever-vibrant communities of D.C.
“Esfandiari recounts her harrowing experience in a newly released book called My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran (HarperCollins).The story began in Tehran when, while visiting her 93-year-old mother, Esfandiari was stopped by knife wielding intelligence officials who accused her of plotting to overthrow the government. This incident, which occurred December 30, 2006, led to four months of house arrest and intense interrogation, followed by another four months in Evin Prison. She was released in August 2007, following a robust diplomatic effort that involved her colleagues at the Wilson Center and members of the U.S. Congress.”
Today’s the big day. After months of rumors, ruminations, and really excited Tweets, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol has appeared in stores. This follow-up to the best-selling Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons is set in Washington, D.C. – though Brown’s version of D.C. promises to be more thrilling and fantastical than Georgetown University’s annual tuition and expenses. Louis Bayard reviewed an advance copy for the Washington Post, and finds that the book will please readers who enjoyed the Da Vinci […]
Haleh Esfandiari will be launching My Prison, My Home today at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, from 4-5 pm.
Laura Streib, of Forbes.com, writes today about the literary empire of James Patterson, best-selling author of the DC-based Alex Cross mysteries. Streib explains, Patterson’s not a writer. He’s a fiction (and non-fiction) factory. In 2008 he authored or co-authored seven books and in his 33-year career as a published author he’s written 57. He sells an average of 20 million books per year. An estimated 170 million copies of his novels are in print worldwide. Most important: During the last two years […]
The 2009 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2009, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The festival is free and open to the public.
Margot Badran finds that “Esfandiari’s finely wrought memoir. . . gives us a window on a terrible and terrifying world and the trial by fire that some of our fellow human beings are forced to endure.”
The BC in DC chapter of BookCrossing, always a good source for events, literary discussions, and local book news, will be sponsoring the 10th anniversary convention. The bad news? The convention won’t happen until April 15-17, 2011. Guess it gives me something to look forward to!
Denis Lipman, former resident of London’s East End and current resident of Washington, DC, will be publishing A Yank Back to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns in January 2010. The premise of the novel came about through Lipman’s many journeys back home, both solo and accompanied by his wife. I’m eager to review it, especially after this comment by Michael York: “A perceptive, engaging and informative take on contemporary England as seen through the eyes of a fellow expatriate who writes with […]
Washington Post‘s Courtland Milloy interviews poet-rapper Gil Scott-Heron about drugs, poetry, Obama, and the inspirational power of D.C.
Sybil Steinberg reviews DC resident Eugenia Kim’s new novel, The Calligrapher’s Daughter, in Washington Post‘s Book World. Steinberg praises the sensitivity of the novel, commenting that “Kim’s account acquires depth and immediacy as she draws vivid pictures of wartime poverty and hardship.” Steinberg closes by writing, In quietly recording the arc of a woman’s experience from idyllic childhood through harrowing adulthood, Kim mirrors the changing nation. The ending of the book is somewhat rushed, as Kim tries to encapsulate events in the […]
President Obama reportedly brought a copy of George Pelecanos’ most recent novel, The Way Home, on his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. I wonder if he would be a guest reviewer?
Yvonne Zip reviews Eugenia Kim’s The Calligrapher’s Daughter in the Christian Science Monitor. Zip notes, “Kim builds a patient spell, carefully orienting American readers who probably know little of this chapter of history. . . Fans of Lisa See’s or Amy Tan’s novels should eagerly embrace [the main character] Najin, and The Calligrapher’s Daughter bids fair to become a staple of book clubs. While the story is Najin’s, its true subject is Korea’s occupation by Japan.”
Garrett Graff, the 28-year-old blogging pioneer, has taken over as editor-in-chief at The Washingtonian. Stepping into the shoes of Jack Limpert, who held the reins at the magazine for an incredible 40 years, the young journalist comments that his new role is “partly a reflection of just how Washington is changing. The city right now is not just younger than it has been traditionally in the past, but much richer in terms of culture and arts and restaurants.” Graff explains that he […]
This guide to the historical landmarks of D.C. succeeds in presenting a thoroughly unique viewpoint of the city and its long and colorful history. Through a combination of anecdotes and images of historical sites — both existing and long gone — each destination has its own story, ranging from the political to the criminal. Dividing the city by neighborhood, rather than into walking paths, this portable little book is indispensable for anyone interested in the history behind the geography.
The strength of Walls’s narrative lies in her ability to completely absorb herself in telling the story, without allowing herself time or space to inject judgment or analysis. More than just an incredible story, “The Glass Castle” showcases Jeannette Walls’s clear talent with a pen and her undeniable prowess as a storyteller.