WHEN SHE WOKE by Hilary Jordan

Hannah Payne is twenty-six years old and Red, with a capital R, her badge of shame. Her skin has been “melachromed” by the State for her crime of abortion, and for not naming the abortionist and not identifying the father, the celebrated pastor and TV (“vid”) evangelist, Aidan Dale, who is now the nation’s “Secretary of Faith.” Her sentence is thirty days confinement, and then sixteen years in the community as a Red, where she will be constantly ostracized and persecuted.

October 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Scifi, Texas, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author

WHAT YOU SEE IN THE DARK by Manuel Munoz

What do you see in the dark? Well, that partly depends on your perspective. In Munoz’s stylistic mise-en-scène novel, the second-person point of view frames the watchful eye and disguises the wary teller. Reading this story is like peering through Hitchcock’s lens—the camera as observer’s tool and observer as camera–with light and shadow and space concentrated and dispersed frame by frame, sentence by sentence.

March 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: California, Class - Race - Gender, Mystery/Suspense, Noir, Whiting, y Award Winning Author

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison

Visit the website for the National Park Service and you will find that the Elwha River Restoration project is a key one for the Olympic National Park in Washington state. “Elwha River Restoration will restore the river to its natural free-flowing state, allowing all five species of Pacific salmon and other anadromous fish to once again reach habitat and spawning grounds,” the project literature explains.

It is with this kernel of truth that writer Jonathan Evison spins a grand tale in his new novel, West of Here. The novel essentially looks at environmental decisions made during the late 1800s, when the American frontier moved rapidly west, and land grabs were in full swing—and the consequences of those same decisions more than a hundred years on.

February 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, US Northwest, Wild West

THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Heidi W. Durrow

It amazes me that THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY is Heidi W. Durrow’s debut novel. It is poetic, poignant, beautiful and elegiac with the panache of a seasoned writer. Once I started it, I could not stop thinking about it. It haunted my days until I finished it. Durrow has a talent that is rare and brilliant, like the northern lights.

February 11, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Bellwether, Class - Race - Gender, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Family Matters, US Midwest, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

SETTLED INTO THE WILD by Susan Hand Shetterly

As the title suggests, this is a book about living close to nature, or rather, being a part of nature while cognizant of that important and salient fact. For, what more can we be reminded of, if not reminded that we are biology first? It is easy to forget that we are made of the salt of the sea and the grist the land, that atoms and molecules somehow cohere and survive and become…us. That is the delicate core of the quiet little book. We are of nature, let us not forget. The writing in this tradition is long and rich and deep. Henry David Thoreau to Audubon to Anne Dillard and E.O. Wilson–all master practitioners of the genre. And now Susan Hand Shetterly. She is in heady company and she belongs there. This book is spellbinding.

November 14, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: NE & New York, Non-fiction

A CURABLE ROMANTIC by Joseph Skibell

Science, religion, and language intersect in this edgy, Judeo-mystic satire about love, brotherhood, and neuroses in fin-de-siècle Vienna. In 1895, oculist Jakob Sammelsohn meets Sigmund Freud on the same night that he eyes and falls in love with Freud’s primary patient, Emma Eckstein. As Jakob is guided into Freud’s world of psychoanalysis, he reluctantly becomes a guide himself. He plunges into the mythological realm of a dybbuk, the dislocated spirit of his dead wife, Ita, who possesses and inhabits Emma. Or so Ita-as-Emma claims. As the relationship intensifies between Jakob, Freud, and Emma, Ita’s haunting voice lures Jakob into a psychosexual seduction.

September 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Facing History, Literary