Letters From the Editor
By Fred Beauford

Smart Friends

In 2000, my first book, The Rejected American, came out to reasonable reviews.

This writing life is not so bad, I thought at the time.

Not much later, my first novel came out, The Womanizer. Months after its' release, I was still in a state of shock over the reaction to it. Unlike the pats on the back I received from my collection of essays, my novel was attacked with venom that caught me totally off guard. It was as if I was being slapped in the face by almost everyone I knew..

What was the problem, I kept asking? It was only a novel. Why all the hate?

During that time, I wandered the streets of Oakland, California, daily, wondering if I should continue writing.

One afternoon I was walking near Lake Merritt, pondering my fate. I passed a small, empty Thai café and looked in. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There sat the famous writer Amiri Baraka, all alone, hunched over a small cup of tea.

I walked over to his table uninvited, and sat down.

He told me that he was in the Bay Area for a lecture later that evening. Soon, without his asking, I was pouring out to him all of my frustrations about the reception to my first novel.

He listened patiently, with sympathy on his face, no longer the combative, firebrand poet I knew from New York City. At one point he smiled a thin, wry little smile and stared down into his tea. “My publishers are waiting for me to die so they can re-release all of my books. At least you have something else going.”

He added, however, perhaps sensing the real distress I was experiencing, “Don’t worry about what they are saying. All it means is that they just don’t like what you are saying. So I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Baraka has no idea the difference that bit of advice made for me, especially coming from someone like him; someone who has spent a lifetime being attacked. That is one of the reasons why I am more than happy that we have Herb Boyd’s excellent profile of him.

We also have a new president. My heart is filled with nothing but hope for the best for President Barack Obama.

I would only caution him that sometimes too much love can be as bad as no love at all.

Thank you for picking us up. And, in a heartfelt shout out, thank you, my smart writers, editors, and art director, friends all, for making this issue of the Neworld Review happen.

It’s good to have smart friends.

Fred Beauford

Neworld Review
Vol. 2, No. 5


Fred Beauford

Art Director

Bernie Rollins

Managing Editor

Jan Alexander


Margaret Johnstone

Senior Editor

Herb Boyd

Contributing Editors

Jane M McCabe: books
James Petcoff: theater
Rona Edwards:film
Russell Burge: visual arts
Loretta Campbell
Brenda M. Greene
Madeleine Mysko

The Neworld Review is a publication of Morton Books, Inc. Rob Morton, President/CEO, in cooperation with Baby Mogul Productions, 78 Randolph Avenue, Jersey City, N.J. 07305, 201-761-9084. 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 ar3e accepted at [email protected]. Neworld Review cannot be held responsible for unsolicited photographs or manuscripts.

All correspondence to:

Fred Beauford

Editor-in Chief/Publisher

78 Randolph Avenue

Jersey City, N.J. 07305

Telephone 201-761-9084



VOL. 1 NO. 1 2008

VOL. 1 NO. 2 2008

VOL. 1 NO. 3 2008

VOL. 1 NO. 4 2008

This Month's Articles


Amiri Baraka—The Last Beat Standing

by Herb Boyd

There is a sign outside Amiri and Amina Baraka’s home in Newark. “9/11 was an inside job,” the sign proclaims, and the reaction it has stirred from various city agencies is in stark and disturbing contrast.....Read More


Travels with Herodotus

by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Reviewed by Jane M. McCabe

What a pleasure it is to review a book by one of my favorite writers, Ryszard Kapuscinski. Travels with Herodotus is the last book Kapuscinski wrote. After a long career as Poland’s most celebrated foreign correspondent, when he died in 2007, he had spent four decades reporting from Asia, Latin America and Africa and had written other six books, all worth.....Read More


Who I Am
An Excerpt from a Memoir

By Fred Beauford
....And Mistakes Made Along the Way

Most people hate to admit to mistakes, especially the personal kind which could call into question the very essence of who they are, and how their personhood measures up to others. They have learned the hard lesson that others are just waiting to pounce, with unforgivable ferocity, when they point out a personal lapse in good judgment on their part: “Oh no, I must say, with no disrespect intended, but even you must admit that that was pretty dumb. That wouldn’t.....Read More


Fanon: A Novel

By John Edgar Wideman

Reviewed by Brenda M. Greene

As we enter the world of Fanon: A Novel, John Edgar Wideman the reader is informed that in the Igbo tradition, a person doesn’t die until the living stop telling their stories. And so Wideman, in deciding to tell the imagined story of Fanon’s life ensures that Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, activist, writer and philosopher, will continue to live so that the world will know him, and will be able to read and study his views on postcolonialism and the nature of revolution in postcolonial societies.

Wideman, in expressing his admiration for Fanon, states ....Read More


Beware of Geeks Baring Rifts

Life After Genius
by M. Ann Jacoby.

Review by Jan Alexander

I don’t know much about zeta zeroes, but I do know there’s something courageous about a first-time novelist who makes her hero a nerdy teenaged boy seeking his own brand of alpha-manhood. Theodore Mead Fegley’s rites of passage have nothing to do with sex, drugs, or revolution, but instead revolve around a 150-year old equation called the Riemann Hypothesis. Mead gets stoned on math. And as the title suggests,he’s a genius. He is 15 when he enters a great institution with the thinly disguised name of Chicago University. The Riemann Hypothesis, on the other hand, .....Read More


From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books

By Arie Kaplan

Reviewed by Tim Lasiuta

Once upon a time, I read comic books for enjoyment. I used to buy Howard the Duck, Spiderman, Batman, Nova, and the 1970's Marvel westerns. That was then, this is now.

At the tender age of 40 plus, I have finally learned that the creators of my favorite books were Jewish! Not that it made a difference to my enjoyment that Bob Kane, Stanley Lieber, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and so many others had a Judaic background, but now that I know that, some pieces .....Read More


Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting
by Terrie M. Williams

Reviewed By Loretta H. Campbell

“As a people we can’t keep getting beat in the head by poverty, racism, broken homes, drugs, police, brutality, suspicion of character, unemployment, cheating husbands and wives, incest, homelessness and not freak the hell out sometimes.” —Jim Glover, Creative Director, Carol H. Williams Advertising (from the book, Black Pain)

What is it called when Black people, or for that matter, any people, “freak out” and either inflict pain on....Read More


The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing

Edited by Marc Smirnoff, Foreword by Van Dyke Parks
The University of Arkansas Press
October 2008, $34.95

Reviewed by Stephen Weil

Marc Smirnoff started The Oxford American in the early 90’s. The magazine is devoted to good writing of the South, and a regular feature has been an annual music issue devoted to the South’s music. The music issue, with its sampler CD, is something of an event for music fans. This new volume—which the University of Arkansas Press is publishing to coincide with the tenth OA music issue—collects some of the best pieces from Oxford American music issues past.

The book is divided loosely by musical genre. These pieces.....Read More