Letter from the Editor

Flights of Fancy

By Fred Beauford

This publication is always greatly influenced by the last book I read, or one of my contributors read. However, there are so many wonderful books coming out these days, both fiction and non-fiction, that love affairs, no matter how passionate, can be brief.

One day I might be totally enthralled by Robert J. Norrell’s outstanding account of the life of Booker T. Washington, Up From History, and decide that the next book I will write will be the definitive history of rascism in America..

Then my friends at Henry Holt sent me David Fromkin’s excellent book, A Peace to End All Peace, which vigorously details the fall of the once mighty Ottoman Empire. Because Fromkin had both the eye of the historian, and that of the creative writer, I suddenly I wanted my next book to make a grand, sweeping statement on the Middle East, monotheism, and whether there such a thing as a “religious gene.”

These are extreme flights of intellectual fantasy, to be sure.

These fights of fancy, however, have produced another issue of the Neworld Review, and there is much of note here. Managing editor Jan Alexander gives us a thoughtful look at novelist Richard Powers’s latest novel. Generosity: An Enhancement. Her review is filled with provocative ideas.

Anyone who ;lives in New York have seen the proliferation of so-called Ghetto Lit. It seems to be one of the fastest growing new growth areas in publishing. Senior editor Herb Boyd looked into it and gives us his report on the phenomenon.

As a memoirist, I was immediately drawn into Brenda Greene’s well-done review of poets E.Ethelbert Miller and asha bandele (spelled with lower case letters) memoirs. So much of the often terrifying issues that I am dealing with on a daily basis, with my own work, came out in her essay.

I am also not noted for being a modest man. But even I was deeply humbled when someone recently suggested that the Neworld Review had the best writers in town. I agree. There are no important, dominating “schools of thought” big-footing around. Even racial, religious and ethnic blackmail, and mainstream ostracism, no longer hold any importance for a literary publication.

But so what! Who needed all of that anyway? Let the inmates run the place, without undue influence’ and let them have fun doing it. At least they know how to write well, and are becoming better with each issue.

Thanks for picking us up. And don't forget, write me a letter. I would love to know what you are thinking.

Fred Beauford

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