This is the 71st issue of the Neworld Review. It is an issue I am very proud of. But to tell the truth, I am proud of all our issues (although, I must confess, we have had our share of dogs). I have the good fortune to have what my Senior Editor M.J. Moore, calls my “army” of good writers.
To be sure, it is indeed an army of great writers from all over the country that have signed on to the magazine at one time or another. From mighty Montana, to Wisconsin, to Harlem, to Detroit, to Chicago, to California, to Mobile, Alabama, to Iowa City, to Florida, to Santa Fe, and to my beloved Greenwich Village, where this magazine first started.
The rest of the world has also weighed in, from Nigeria, to India, to Japan, to the Philippines, to The United Kingdom—all races, colors and creeds.
For me, this is truly both America speaks, and the world speaks.
This is why I started this magazine in the first place, and I am thrilled beyond belief that it came together just as I imagined it would.
Dare I now call myself, America’s Editor-in-Chief?
Whatever I call myself, I love my “army” of brilliant writers. It is their dedication to Neworld Review that makes this magazine happen.
So, my beloved writers, this one is for you, all of you, past and present. Thank you.
And, thank you dear reader for once again clicking on to us. Enjoy this issue of Neworld Review.
At an out-of-control medical center in NYC, HR manager, Melie, pleads feverishly with buttock-groping doctors and their flaky staff to just get along. But then there's a little murder, a cancer, a handsome devil and his evil parrot, a knife-wielding cook. She's not quitting until she has it all sorted out —the hunk, the macaw, her life work—and neither will you!
“Our beloved has passed away after many years of struggles. The cause is undetermined. This beautiful, loving and kind person is finally at peace. She is forever in our hearts. She is loved for eternity.”
As I leafed through the Sunday paper, I was suddenly drawn to a beautiful young woman staring vacantly at me. There was no cause of death. Just words of sadness. I wondered why. What took her young life? A mystery never to be revealed to me. Much like the secrets held in Ken Locker’s latest body of work, L.A. NOIR.
Following graduation from Johns Hopkins University, Ken moved on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue the study of fine art photography. While there, he had the good fortune to study with Minor White. Although Minor White was considered to be unorthodox, he was able to expose his students to creativity in a medium other than their own. His Creative Audience class sought to encourage heightened awareness as a precursor to seeing, exercises, including meditation and readings in Zen. His students were encouraged to become aware of a feeling, a sensation, a mood, not an object, rather, a visual harmony. White strongly influenced Ken’s photography.
Retiring from a diverse career in New York, Ken moved from his beginnings in photography to documentary production to the television industry to digital media and to working on some start-ups. Finally, he has come home to where he began, to his first passion: photography. His portraits, fashion photography, architectural and editorial photography speak well of his talent. He donates his time to my Glamour Project, and he is currently working on a book with some of the well-known chefs of L.A.
Ken’s new body of work, L.A. NOIR, is an homage to film noir of the ‘30s and ‘40s. He is shooting in a cinematic style of old, before color existed, when many of the night scenes were actually shot during the day, starting .....Read More
Is Leonardo Padura a time traveler? What prodigious research! What imagination! His renderings of life in Seventeenth Century Amsterdam come alive with rich photographic detail. We meet Rembrandt in his studio, a community of Sephardic Jews who have found a haven in the diaspora and walk through the streets bordering the canals with Elias, a young Jew and would-be painter who dares break the prohibition against worshipping icons by studying under The Maestro.
Here’s where the novel comes alive. Trouble is: this section of the book starts almost two hundred pages in. How many readers will make it this far?
Padura situates the action first in Cuba in 1939 with the tale of a young Jewish boy, Daniel, dispatched from Krakow to Cuba to live with his uncle. The rest of his family boards a boat to escape the Nazis that docks in Havana, where he waves to them from the dock. Unfortunately, this boat full of Jews is the infamous S.S. St. Louis carrying almost 1000 people. Prevented by Cuba from disembarking, turned away subsequently by Roosevelt and the U.S., it is ultimately forced to return to Europe and almost certain annihilation.
His father had thought the possession of an authentic Rembrandt passed on through the generations of his family would suffice to win his family’s freedom. But corrupt Cuban politicians confiscate the painting.
The author charts Daniel’s childhood, his marriage, his forced departure to Miami and is particularly interested in his conversion to Christianity and eventual return to the fold. After that fateful day on the docks of Havana, Daniel decides he is more Cuban than Jewish and wants no more of the pain and suffering, which seem to be a province of the Jewish people.
The book swerves to 2007-9 and the life of a starving ex-cop, Mario Conde, who is visited by Daniel’s son, hot on the trail of the famous Rembrandt, which has turned up in a London auction house. How did it make its way from Cuba to London? The reader becomes embroiled in the day-to-day life of Conde and his attempts to unravel the mystery. This section is full of details of life in Cuba among the lower classes, stressing the corruption and demoralization that predominate.
Then without warning we are deposited in the middle of Amsterdam to follow the footsteps of Daniel’s ancestor. He manages to apprentice with Rembrandt, serve as his model for Christ in the painting in question, but is forced to flee the wrath of his fellow Jews and certain excommunication. Leaving Holland, he lands in the midst of a pogrom –plagued Krakow, where he consigns the painting to the hands of a rabbi for safekeeping.
Soon we’re back in the present, dogging Conde’s footsteps as he goes about his semi-impoverished life, enriched primarily by his long-term friendships, his amorous relationship, his daily consumption of cheap rum. He becomes embroiled in trying to solve the disappearance....Read More
For five days in July, 1967, Detroit was an inferno of flames, a city militarized by the local and state police, National Guardsmen, and troops from the 82nd and 101st airborne units. “The Motor City is burning,” sang bluesman, John Lee Hooker, and his song was the soundtrack to the days of rage that engulfed a town many social planners had perceived as a model city. That perception was as nearsighted as that of Mayor Jerome Cavanagh and all but a few of his aides.
If Cavanagh had listened to Conrad Mallet, Sr., one of his top officials, Detroit might have been better prepared to deal with the upheaval, might have paid more attention to the turmoil simmering in the precincts of a city beset with high unemployment, poor housing conditions, and a police force known for its rampant brutality.
For example, the summer before, on the city’s Eastside, conflict between the neighborhood’s black youths and the police was narrowly averted, thanks to a torrential downpour.
But the rain did not come and dampen the hostility that erupted after the police raided a “blind pig,” an after-hours joint, at the intersection of 12th Street and Clairmount, on the city’s near Westside.
It is from this location that the book The Intersection—What Detroit Has Gained and Lost, 50 Years After the Uprisings of 1967 gets its title. Most of the pieces in the compendium’s eight chapters and 200 odd pages were written by Bill McGraw of Bridge Magazine and....Read More
I love libraries. I love them so much that I went to work at a company called OverDrive that is dedicated to making sure readers can access their library anytime and from anywhere. We work with libraries around the world to provide eBooks and digital audiobooks to millions of users.
We fervently believe in the importance of books, regardless of whether they're physical or digital. They enable us to escape our daily lives for a few moments by getting lost in stories. They inspire creativity, relieve stress and can keep us in the zeitgeist. Depending on your reading preferences, they also help you see the world from perspectives that may differ from your own.
At OverDrive, we spend our lives in the literary world so we wanted to create a new avenue to share our love and expertise by promoting new books to readers around the globe. To that end, we created the “Professional Book Nerds” podcast, where we offer book recommendations and author interviews each week to broaden the literary horizons of our readers.
On the podcast, we strive to connect readers with authors who can help enlighten the world through their stories. Each Monday, we release an author interview to introduce listeners to writers they may never have heard of, as well as provide insight into the minds of those they know and love. Here are five authors who have recently been on our show and why you should read....Read More
Al Pacino is in the news again because it’s the 45th anniversary of the release of The Godfather and Pacino will forever be identified as the character Michael Corleone.
However, for almost all of his life as an actor on stage and screen, Al Pacino has had another perennial quest in mind. Like innumerable other performers (in theater and on film), Pacino has wrestled mightily with Shakespeare. In fact, back in 1996, in a documentary titled Looking For Richard, it was Pacino’s goal to assess as best he could (and share with movie audiences) just how heavily the Bard still weighs on the shoulders of anyone seriously committed to acting.
For male actors, going all the way back to John Barrymore and then up to Richard Burton and certainly in our time as well, the most daunting of questions has been: “Can he play Hamlet?” And for actresses, there’s an equally daunting question.
That is: What to do with Juliet? Only her first name is required. Even separate from the storyline of Romeo and Juliet, her mystique is so powerful that merely hearing the name “Juliet” sets off a sequence of mental images and theatrical fantasies.
Several years ago, a major motion picture titled Letters to Juliet reinforced this. A romantic comedy set in Verona, Italy, with a title like that? It could only be inspired by the lovelorn, tragic, teenage heroine of Shakespeare’s most famous love story – and it was enhanced by the fact that from all over the world, day in and day out, people truly do write letters to Juliet and post them to Verona in an effort to find true love by having their letters on display in the vicinity of Juliet’s Verona balcony.
If you’re now silently saying to yourself: “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” then you’re in league with millions of others. Juliet has been patented, and almost set in stone.
Until Kalista Tazlin radically reinterpreted her during five New York performances of Romeo and Juliet as imagined anew. And I mean “imagined anew” as if Lady Gaga teamed up with Anais Nin and asked Twyla Tharp for some input.
It happened at the end of last January at the historic Flamboyan Theater in New York City. Shakespeare’s Juliet was reconfigured (to say the least). And she was reinterpreted. But, most of all, she was duly revived for....Read More
Flanked in the picture by red-plumed honor guards while riding triumphantly aboard an army jeep on his inaugural ride down the Champs-Élysées, Emmanuel Macron carried with him the hopes for the both the preservation of the French Republic and its commitment to the endangered European Union.
The ideals forged in the French Revolution and perpetually tested were once again at the foreground just weeks ago, as voters chose the political upstart Macron over the neo-fascist Marie Le Pen.
Nowhere like in France are the principles of the Enlightenment so frequently in battle with humanity’s dark side. France stands at the front line of liberal democracy but its politics is still haunted by ghosts of the collaborationist Vichy government that in World War II dispatched nearly a hundred thousand French people to death camps in Nazi Germany.
Perhaps it is instructive to examine how conflicted were the intellectual underpinnings of the Enlightenment in consideration of the everlasting battle in France—and, indeed, in that step-child of the Enlightenment, the United States.
In a recent article in the The New Yorker Pankaj Mishra argues that Jean-Jacques Rousseau—who has been reviled and revered by both the right and left, and sometimes from the same side—“seems to have grasped, and embodied, better than anyone the incendiary appeal of victimhood in societies built around the pursuit of wealth and power.”
And the rising tide of a right populism in France, not to mention right here in America, pits the rage of those who see themselves as powerless against a seemingly intractable corporate, bureaucratic state (the late media giant Roger Ailes of course exploited this dynamic). What is particularly distinct in France was Le Pen’s appeal to those who felt left behind in a country with nearly ten percent unemployment, coupled with resentment against the Mideastern refugees who have streamed into the country.
After all, Rousseau wrote in Émile, “Every patriot hates foreigners; they are only men, and nothing to him.” This xenophobia has unfortunately been echoed in our country, but Europe faces an exponentially greater intense test of its values and its capacity to accept strangers.
On the eve of the May election, New York Times writer Roger Cohen said, “Absent religion in any official form, absent the monarchy, the state is what the French have to represent the high ideals and aspirations that, as descendants of the Revolution, they must somehow embody.”
Unique to this election is the rarity that the voters have selected a leader from neither the right nor left, but a moderate technocrat that many hope can reboot the economy while preserving the fraternité promised in the....Read More
It’s been going on for as long as most of us have been alive. Even longer. The Hemingway Mystique is a publishing phenomenon every bit as real as the Elvis Mystique in the world of music. And this season is no different – a slew of new biographies recently appeared and Papa is at the center of each one of them.
Biographer James McGrath Morris is to be commended for doing something unusual and highly necessary. Rather than merely recycle aspects or elements of the all-too-familiar Hemingway legend, what McGrath has done is focus with superlative intent on recapitulating how the First World War galvanized the coming-of-age of young Hemingway. And yet, there is much more here to learn from.
Because McGrath has woven together two coming-of-age stories and the other topic is long overdue for a revival, both in terms of readership and scholarship. John Dos Passos, who once upon a time was as famous as Hemingway, Faulkner, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (in 1936 it was John Dos Passos who made the cover of Time Magazine), was not just another writer who knew Hemingway or who served in the Great War.
The value of this important new biography is that we are reminded of how much has been lost—for decades—as the Hemingway Industry stayed in overdrive, while the great and good works of John Dos Passos were gradually consigned to oblivion.
Let’s shine a light on the books. Yes, there remains little doubt that young Ernest Hemingway revolutionized how the English language could be used in short stories and novels. And no doubt about it, some of those early stories (“Big Two-Hearted River” and “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”) and the novels The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms remain the landmarks in literature that they always were.
However, it is a cultural crime that for all the wrong reasons, the equally bold, equally innovative, and in some ways far more daring narrative achievements of John Dos Passos have been eclipsed in college courses and forgotten by readers.
A quick recap: John Dos Passos was a few years older than Hemingway, and zipped through Harvard prior to volunteering as an ambulance driver in World War One. Dos Passos found himself “over there” in 1916, two years earlier than Hemingway. And it was Dos Passos who had a much more traumatic eyewitness exposure to the insane strategies, the mindless slaughter of endless thousands of young men at Verdun, and all the other scabrous details of the Great War’s demonic mayhem.
Nonetheless, even though he was appalled and stricken by the First World War’s colossal destructive force (all of which still affects the geopolitics of our world), Dos Passos wanted to see it up close, and he knew it would induce his writer’s quest.
That’s the key to what bonded Hemingway and Dos Passos. Both young men made a decisive effort to enlist as volunteer ambulance drivers to accelerate how quickly they’d be able to get assignments overseas to witness the war. And their very different emotional and psychological and social backgrounds had much to do with how varied their reactions to the war turned out to be. But it bonded them as men.
On the Italian front, in 1918, where Hemingway would be wounded by shellfire and where his own legend would commence (newspapers in Italy and America made a big story out of a badly wounded Ernest carrying an unconscious, wounded Italian soldier to safety), there was a brief encounter between Hemingway and Dos Passos.
But it was after the war, in Paris in the early 1920s, that the two emerging writers became the best of friends. And travel companions. Kindred spirits in every way. They both were setting out to alter and even reinvent American fiction. And when books, writing, revising, and haggles....Read More
And fuck her I did! Father. From that point on, the moment I entered the apartment and took my coat off, we were soon laying in her warm bed, sometime fucking, but most of the time just holding on to each other and enjoying the warmth of our bodies against each other.
She was in so much need. I was really surprised, Father, really surprised.
In the next few weeks she revealed even more about herself. She also gave me a modern history and civic lesson. The more she talked, the more I could see that this woman was deadly serious, and carried a deep anger about the conditions and government we lived under.
One day she had just come back from a meeting with her doctor who told her that she was too nervous. “Look at this Alexander.”
She held out her hand. There was a bunch of little blue pills in it. “Now they said I should take these. I’m supposed to be too nervous. Who the fuck wouldn’t be nervous the way they try to control you. Bullshit! I ain’t taking this shit!”
She threw the pills on the floor and started stomping on them in a fit of rage. I had never seen her like this.
“I’m telling you, Alexander, all they want to do is control us. That’s all! Well, they ain’t gonna control me! Fuck them! Fuck them! Fuck them!”
Lucy was so angry that I didn’t know what to say to her.
“Why don’t you get a job. That way you don’t have to deal with them,” I said, trying to sound as reasonable as I could.
She gave me that look again that said I was out of my mind, or at least a bit daffy. “There are no jobs, Alexander! Ever since they dismantled all the plants, and outlawed cars, what is left for us to do? We all can’t be farmers. All this talk about everyone getting a little patch of land. What a joke. They just want to get us in the middle of nowhere so they can keep a better eye on us. Who wants to live in the middle of nowhere? Tell me, who the hell cares if there are more trees now. And, fuck deers. Who the fuck wants to be around a bunch of fucking deers! They say we are all going to die of cancer, except for really black people, unless we do as we’re told. I think they’re all full of shit.”
It’s amazing, Father, how little I had noticed of the world around me. I did watch as the cars....Read More
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