Category Archives: Book Reviews
There is a rich body of literature in Arabic; English readers are deprived of much of it by our disinterest and our historic political antagonism both to Arabic culture and our debt to it. We rarely have access to modern Arabic fiction in translation, particularly by women, so it is an unusual treat to read two books by this contemporary Egyptian writer and academic. Her books are not dry or academic but bold novels with strong characters whose lives and actions are lovingly detailed with daily life meshed into unfolding history. This is the Read more [...]
This is a slim volume and a seemingly simple story of a baker working for a despotic sultan on an island off East Africa at end of the 1800s. Amina´s husband was lost at sea so she waits anxiously for her son, Said, to return from a long voyage. He does return and is full of the history he has witnessed. He has been to Egypt, lived there with Egyptians and has witnessed the British invasion of Alexandria. The fictitious island, set near Zanzibar, is a small lush fiefdom of a fabulously wealthy sultan with a castle full of Arabic servants and Read more [...]
The title of this anthology of mainly young activist women from an academic discipline intrigued me right away. I often think of art & activism, sometimes connected, sometimes separate. But Art as Activism implies a relationship of deeper integration. The twenty–one contributors have been graduate students of the editor; in this anthology they express their creativity as activism – a process that reaches out to the community to participate in social transformation. In her introduction the editor, Deborah Barndt of the Faculty of Environmental Read more [...]
Ramzy Baroud is the founder and editor of www.palestinechronicle.com an online news service and he has written several books about Palestine. This new book is the story of just one man, not famous or particularly special — only special in that he is Ramzy´s father and that through the story of his life, the tragedy of Gaza is revealed. He was probably born in 1938 to poor farmers in the village of Beit Daras in Palestine, (see: www.palestineremembered.com) a village with a long history and important archaeological sites NE of Gaza City. Read more [...]
Bello, Walden. Deglobalization: Ideas for a New Economy 2002. Zed Books Ltd. London, UK and New York, USA. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, N.S. Canada.
Victorians had the rare chance to hear Walden Bello discuss his thoughtful and constructive theories about globalization and the new global democracy movement at the Small World Social Forum in November. The New Internationalist magazine says,” Clear analysis and impressive scholarship have made Bello on of Asia's key progressive thinkers.” In Deglobalization, Bello explains the crisis of legitimacy in the institutions and actions of global financial powers – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization Read more [...]
Browdy De Hernandez, Jennifer. WOMEN WRITING RESISTANCE: Essays on Latin American and the Caribbean. 2003. South End Press, USA.
“Justice forgets about the dead women of Juarez” On that mountain near El Mozote in El Salvador Where they took them away Young girls as petite as their rag dolls.” from Death in the Desert: The Women of Cuidad Juarez by Marjorie Agosin. Nearly all the writers in this collection now live and teach in the USA, an ironic situation when one considers the role of the USA in supporting the oppression that many of them fled. Cherrie Moraga, a USA born Chicana, recognizes this when she asks herself: How can I, as a Latina, identify with Read more [...]
Chambers, Carole. Still Life Under The Occupation. & Echolocation. 2002. Thistledown Press. Saskatoon, SK 1988. Quadrant Editions. Toronto, ON & 2002. Thistledown Press, Saskatoon, SK.
“…any every tide teaches the lesson/impressions of water on sand/and then erases it/ to make this garden/you must stay here.” from Garden in sand. P 19 - Still Life under the Occupation. The best of poetry is rooted in place and passion; for Carole Chambers her passion is the place. She lives and writes on an island off the east coast of Vancouver Island. Hornby Island is a very special place of sea and ever changing sky and lush green and secret crannies. I live there part time and first met Carole at her day job in the post office. She Read more [...]
Maximillian Forte. SLOUCHING TOWARDS SIRTE: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa. 2012. Baraka Books. Montreal, Canada
Review by Theresa Wolfwood “NATO’s war in Libya was advertised as a humanitarian intervention- bombing in the name of ‘saving lives’.” As Canada goes to war again in Western Asia, it is important to remember our humanitarian (read: military) intervention into Libya a few years ago. Forte’s book is valuable history of our unflagging enthusiasm for killing people somewhere else at the slightest nod from our occupiers, the USA; but it is important reading now as rumors spread that we may go to war in Libya (again) Read more [...]
Review by Theresa Wolfwood This is the very personal and very political story of the woman who is called the “bravest woman in Afghanistan.” When her family returned to Pakistan from a refugee camp, she was a clandestine teacher, teaching in homes and basements, hiding her books under a burka. She was committed from a young age to working for her people. She set up clinics, social services and orphanage which finally closed for the lack of funds, but she still helps and stays in touch with these war orphans. Her description of courtship Read more [...]
Abu-Zahra, Nadia & Adah Kay. UNFREE IN PALESTINE: Registration, Documentation and Movement Restriction. 2013, Pluto Press. UK. ISBN 978 0 7453 2527 9
Review by Theresa Wolfwood “In this book we focus on denationalization rather than displacement or dispossession…we draw attention to the 1.4 million denationalized Palestinians… The focus on denationalization, rather than solely dispossession, implicitly recognizes the nationality and citizenship of Palestinians prior to 1948.” If there are still any people of good will who believe that the conflict in Palestine with the Israeli occupiers is an evenly balanced situation – this is the book for them. It is also a well-researched book Read more [...]
Abunimah, Ali. ONE COUNTRY: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. 2006. Metropolitan Books. USA (revised edition to be published in 2010)
This proposal, by the founder of the Electronic Intifada, Electronic Iraq and Electronic Lebanon websites, is one of the most hopeful I have read. It deserves serious consideration by anyone concerned about this global hotspot – and about justice for the oppressed. A report of his 2010 speech in Victoria is also on bbcf.ca. Abunimah grew up with his parents´ memories and history. They were evicted from their homes by Israelis in 1947–8. ´My mother remembers the day she left Lifta and my grandfather calmed his daughters: “Why are you crying? Read more [...]
Abunimah, Ali. THE BATTLE FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE. 2014. Haymarket Book, Chicago, USA. ISBN 978-1-60846-324-4
Review & photos by Theresa Wolfwood “The victory against Israeli apartheid, colonialism, and racism that I am convinced Palestinians and their allies have in their power to make will not be theirs alone. It will belong to everyone who believes in, and fights for, equality and justice.” Abunimah is the director & creator of: www.electronicintifada.net and author of ONE COUNTRY: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, review: http://bookreviews.bbcf.ca/2012/09/abunimah-ali-one-country-a-bold-proposal-to-end-the-israeli-palestinian-impasse-2006-metropolitan-books-us Read more [...]