Letter to the Reader:


Going viral:


This issue contains two articles which speak directly to what creative writers face these days, and brought back many memories. Molly Moynahan’s always deeply moving, honest column, A Writer’s World, deals with the loss of a trusted agent.

Herb Boyd’s excellent profile of novelist/essayist Ishmael Reed about the plight of black male creative writers, and the situation of the present day book industry, was very intellectually provocative.

Both articles took me back in time to the same place.

What flashed in my mind, reading them, was, as Editor-in-Chief of my first literary magazine, Black Creation, I once received a phone call from a young book editor named Nan Telese. She wanted me to put her in touch with a young black male writer, Joe Johnson.

I had just published a small portion of Joe’s novel in progress.

A short time after that, I received a package, delivered by messenger, from Toni Morrison. It contained an upcoming release by a new black writer from Random House, where she was working as an editor.

It also came with a small hand-written note, saying, “This is someone you should be interested in, best Toni.”

She also, a few months later, gave me a shout out at a symposium on black literature held at Columbia University. I remember sitting in the audience momentarily stunned at an unsuspected compliment, before so many people, until the person sitting next to me said, “She’s talking about you.”

And, to cap off my being a literary man about town, shortly after that, an editor,

Walter Myers, now the celebrated author of young adult books, took me to 21 for a three martini lunch; ostensibly to discuss a book he was editing, which he thought would make a “great” feature in my magazine.

After a brief discussion about the merits of the novel, we both then got uproariously drunk and stayed for hours.      

But that was the early 70s. As hard as I try, I can’t even vaguely imagine any of that happening today in the literary world. In the almost five years I have been publishing the Neworld Review, in New York City, the very heart of the publishing industry, I have met two editors, one  whose name I can’t even remember!

The legendary editor Maxwell Perkins would be hard pressed to understand what has happened to his beloved industry. He would be amazed to find that agents and marketing directors are now in charge, and separate but equal signs are all over book chains, even as the rest of America gave up this practice long ago.

***

As those of you who have been following my column know full well, I have been trying hard to understand just what being an online publisher really means, especially if the product, no matter how much I try to disguise it, and dress it up, is, in the end, really just an old-fashioned, 50’s literary magazine, albeit, with a little more dash, and intellectual agility. .

Also, the media professor in me just won’t let go and enjoy a quiet, secluded, settled life in Jersey City, with chirping birds, and a bold, bushy-tailed squirrel who was sitting at my kitchen table, about to steal a bag of oatmeal and raisin cookies, having forced itself into a small hole in the window screen before I scared it off..

As profoundly exciting as all the many birds and free-loading squirrels are, I still wondered what is one to make of articles that we published a few years ago, that did poorly, of little interest, all at once receiving hit after hit, day after day, that can range into the thousands?

Where did all that come from?

Back issues I had long thought were dogs, unworthy of comment, and just didn’t work, as I hoped, now add readers way beyond anything I had first wished for when I first published them.

It seems that once original, interesting, provocative material is out there on the web, wherever that is-it just zips around everywhere, forever, soon going viral.

That’s our quiet little secret at the Neworld Review. Please don’t tell anyone.

Enjoy this issue of the Neworld Review.


Fred Beauford

Editor-in-Chief
/Publisher



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Neworld Review
Vol. 4 No 23 - 2011

Editor-in-Chief
/Publisher

Fred Beauford

Online Managing Editor

Richard D. O'Brien

Art Director

Bernie Rollins

Director of Photography

Kara Fox

Senior Editor

Jill Noel Shreve

Assistant Editor

Janet Garber


Contributing Writers


Jane M McCabe: History
Herb Boyd
Loretta H. Campbell
Sarah Vogelsong
Barbara Snow
Sally Cobau
Michael Carey
Brenda M. Greene
Jan Alexander
Lindsey Peckham: Art Beat
Molly Moynahan: A Writers' World

The Neworld Review is a publication of Fred Beauford, 3183 Wilshire Blvd,
Suite 196,
Los Angeles, CA. 90010.

Material in this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers.

Manuscripts should be accompanied by a self-stamped envelope. Online submissions are accepted at literarylife1@hotmail.com.

Neworld Review cannot be held responsible for unsolicited photographs or manuscripts.

All correspondence to:

Fred Beauford
Editor-in Chief/Publisher

Neworld Review
3183 Wilshire Blvd,
Suite 196,
Los Angeles, CA. 90010


E-mail



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This Month's Articles

REVIEWING

Turn of Mind

by Alice LaPlante


Reviewed by Sarah Vogelsong


turn of mind cover

Novelists sitting down to work inevitably face two important decisions. The first concerns the content of the novel and the second concerns the form that that content will take, or the framework on which the story is hung. Human imagination is virtually boundless and the world is full of strange and fantastic stories, so the generation of cohesive and compelling content is itself no small feat—but it is the way in which an author approaches the second task of determining structure tha.....Read More


PROFILE

Call Him Ishmael!


A profile by Herb Boyd


ishmael Reed

As a matter of full disclosure, let me say from the jump that any objectivity I might have about Ishmael Reed was wiped out years ago.   In 1995, Robert Allen and I received the American Book Award for our anthology, Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America.  That award is given by the Before Columbus Foundation that jus’ grew from Ishmael’s fertile imagination.  Though the decision was rendered by the foundation’s board, I will always believe that.....Read More



Letters to the Editor

To the editor:


I really really enjoyed Janet Garber's review of Joy for Beginners, by Erica Bauermeister

It was witty, entertaining, and fair and made me laugh!  I suspect the review is much better than the book...but isn't that so often the case?

And how many times have I watched those  movies sometimes on the screen or on lifetime movie channel, some of the better ones taken from chick lit, feel-good, sisterly- themed books written by women, and at the end of the movie  my thoughts were, do most women really have a circle of such amazing, supportive, noncompetitive best friends?  Usually they take place in the south or the midwest.

But perhaps they are popular because - women really long for such friendships and it's so rare to really find them.  If you can't find Darcy, maybe you can find ..Darlene?

Amy Kool, New York, N.Y.


***

Great issue. Loved the photographs. Interesting article, (by Janet Garber) on women banding together to be supportive of one another.

Best regards,

Joy Woolley, Queens, New York



REVIEWING

Leche

by R. Zamora Linmark


Reviewed by Michael Carey


leche book jacket

Before reading Linmark’s Leche, I had limited experience with Filipinos and even less knowledge of their history and culture. Linmark’s writing captures both and explores them with insight and humor while working through the story of the main character, Vince’s, search for home.

Vince is a gay Filipino American who moved to Hawaii from San Vicente in the Philippines at the age of ten to be with his parents. They had left him and his two siblings to be raised by their grandfather. His parents abandoned him. Years later, he is abandoned once again when his grandfather sends him back to his parents, where he witnesses their struggling marriage and eventual divorce. Vince has lost ....Read More



REVIEWING

Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

by Charles Baxter


Reviewed by Sally Cobau


book jacket

Sleight of Hand:  The Enigmatic Stories of Charles Baxter


If you go to Charles Baxter’s website, you will be invited to ask the author a question—any question.  It seemed so perfectly “Baxter-ish” (at least the Baxter I knew from his stories and novels) so I set about formulating my question.  I think of Baxter as a heady writer, not lofty exactly, but sometimes his intelligence (or rather his characters’ intelligence) gets them in trouble.  (Their laziness/dreaminess gets them in trouble, too.)

Finally I decided on a rather bland question, although Baxter is far from a bland writer.  I asked him how his writing had changed since he’d gotten older.  I fired my e-mail into ....Read More



ART BEAT

Art Beat- July 2011

by Lindsey Peckham


Only the Lonely by Laurel Nakadate


laurel nakadate

I hinted back in June that there were quirky exhibits accompanying the epic dance parties at MoMa’s Queens outpost, PS1. This month I want to feature the work of Laurel Nakadate, whose corner of the museum I found the most fascinating exhibit I’ve seen in recent months. A combination of photography, video, and performance art, her work brilliantly straddles the line between inquisitive and perverted.

An attractive young woman herself, Nakadate explores the sexual power of the adolescent female in the eyes of older men, often using herself as bait and as an object of desire for complete strangers. Her early video work centered around her entering the homes of older men to dance, pose, or even play dead at their request. What struck me most was the balance of power in these encounters; Nakadate’s camera allowed ....Read More

A WRITER'S WORLD

Even Shakespeare had issues with his literary agent

by Molly Moynahan



"Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent".

William Shakespeare

“O world, world! Thus is the poor agent despised. O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a-work, and how ill requited! Why should our endeavor be so loved, and the performance so loathed?”

William Shakespeare

I have no idea whether Will’s agent was a friend or foe but it’s nearly impossible to get a writer to say anything about their agents other then expressing deep devotion, admiration or respect. However, they simply will say nothing about their former agents because who knows what horse’s head will end up in their literary safe place?

So, as usual, I will expose myself and speak of what has recently occurred between my literary agent and myself, a woman I was devoted to, admired and respected but have just divorced. I say divorced because.....Read More



REVIEWING

The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories

by Susi Wyss


Reviewed by Madeleine Mysko


Woven Stories


the civilized world jacket

Some time ago, at a literary festival in Baltimore, I took a seat under a tent and heard Susi Wyss read from a story that I remember now as having been drawn from her years of working in Africa. Though I don’t recall the mention of a novel, I do recall the sense that I was listening to but a snatch of a larger narrative. That day in Baltimore, as the crowds drifted past the tent where a small but appreciative audience had gathered, I could feel the pull of strong threads at the edges of the brief passage Wyss read to us.

Now I have the pleasure of reading Susi Wyss’s debut novel, The Civilized World.  The novel bears a subtitle: A Novel in Stories. I’ll confess up front that, as a devotee of the short story—a form that commercial publishers tend to give short shrift in their quest for the next best-selling novel—I was put off by that subtitle, suspecting that it was just a marketing ploy to attract readers who pass over.....Read More




NOVEL

The African Gentleman


…and The Plot to Re-establish The New World Order


A Novel by Fred Beauford


Chapters 28-29


28

In a few days she gave me the manuscript. It was only 30 pages. It was entitled Dating in the Age of Fear. I slowly finished the few pages, still marveling at her considerable skill at avoiding naming her main characters, or even suggesting their race.

After I sat the manuscript down, I must confess, however, I was extremely disappointed.

Not that what she had written wasn’t compelling. It was, in fact, very compelling. But where was the modern day Count Vronsky, trim little mustache and all? And what on God’s good earth was Liz Gant doing prancing all over these pages? And for the first time since I had been reading her work, she named a character, Liz Gant of all people!

Gladys had been taking note all right, but not about me.

But, the truth be told, maybe I am just a bore, a dull bird, too dull to walk boldly on anyone’s pages. Maybe it was just my former actor’s vanity getting in the way of my.....Read More



REVIEWING

Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China's Other Billion

by Michael Levy


Reviewed by Janet Garber


kosher chinese book jacket

Fun and Games in China


Most HR people will tell you that one of the most difficult tasks we encounter is the one assigned to me (“You’re HR; you do it!”) back in 1985: to tell an employee that she has B.O.  This was not a mild case either – fellow employees insisted they could not work in the same room.  They couldn’t breathe.  They suggested to me that maybe it was her exotic diet, too much curry in her food, and did those people really bathe as often as Americans?  Oy vey, I thought, I better intervene before this turns into an international incident or, more likely, a human rights discrimination case.

I brought the young lady into my office and asked casually about her morning routine.  I suggested that.....Read More



PORTFOLIO

Portfolio: Gerald M. Panter

by Kara Fox


photographer gerald m panter

If you build it, they will come,” a memorable line from the film, Field of Dreams. Fred Beauford wanted to present a showcase for talented photographers in Neworld Review, and from that time on, unique photographers came, and keep coming! The latest such artist is Gerald M. Panter. For the past thirty-five years his passion has been urban photography, and in this issue of Neworld Review, it is a delight to present “Eating on The Run".....Read More

REVIEWING

Leonardo to the Internet: Technology & Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

by Thomas J. Misa


Reviewed by Ken Liebeskind


book jacket

A book that traces the history of technology from the Renaissance to the modern day has a lot to cover. One thinks of technology as a means to advance human culture and opportunity, but Thomas J. Misa’s  Leonardo to the Internet focuses on the ways it has been used to wage war, from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of gunpowder weapons to the development of nuclear bombs during World War II.

The book spans from discussions of Leonardo “exploded-view drawings for wheel lock assemblies and a magnificent drawing of workers guiding a huge cannon barrel through the midst of a bustling foundry”, to U.S. Brigadier General Leslie Groves, who spearheaded the uranium enrichment process prior to the development of the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima

  

“The Hiroshima bomb,” Misa’s notes, was “a simple gun-type device code;.....Read More