This is another gripping story of women from the Mauritian writer of The Rape of Sita. If that book was in lush forest colours, this tense drama, set in a prison as cyclones approach, is stark black and white overshadowed by a sky of deep intense mauve of the impending tempest. The tension builds inside as the cyclone nears outside. Three women are thrown together in a gaol cell. At first, suspicious and unfriendly to each other, they gradually develop friendship and support. They talk about their varied experiences; not too different from Read more [...]
Cockburn, Cynthia. The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender & National Identities in Conflict. ZED books, London, UK and New York, USA. 1998.
Case Studies of how women in major conflict zones, in Ireland, Israel/Palestine and Yugoslavia have come together to work together peacefully.
Coates, Ken. EMPIRE NO MORE! …and the Lion and Wolf shall cease. 2004. Spokesman for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, UK.
This morning on radio, I heard a USA government lawyer proclaim the intention to grant no rights to foreigners in the USA, warning us we may be subject to detention without any contact, food deprivation and various forms of abuse, even if we are in the transit area of an airport. She ended her speech with the blatant statement (lie) that the USA does not torture. I felt a chill as I realized I may never again see my friends in the USA who are too frail to travel, that I cannot visit or meet with the many committed activists who are trying Read more [...]
Clarke, Tony. Inside the Bottle: An Expose of the Bottled Water Industry. 2005. The Polaris Institute, Ottawa, ON.
Inside The Bottle: An Expose of the Bottled Water Industry tells us that bottled water is relatively new to Canada - it was introduced by the big corporations, like Nestle, from Europe. Then the cola companies, seeing their sales of sugary soft drinks stagnate as a result of health concerns, got into this profit able market. They had the great advantage, Clarke says, of already owning the facilities and having almost free access to municipal water (just like us, they can take it from the tap!) In Canada, 20% of drinking water is now bottled; its Read more [...]
Churchill, Ward. A LITTLE MATTER OF GENOCIDE: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present 1997. City Lights Books, USA.
Churchill, an enrolled Cherokee, is an activist in the American Indian Movement, a professor and a prolific author of many books and articles on the aboriginal peoples of the Americas. This book is well documented and has exhaustive references and bibliography. His main thesis is clear and unequivocally stated: the crime of genocide does not belong to any one group, that is has been perpetrated on many groups from Armenians to Romas and that the longest enduring genocide has been against the native peoples of the Americas. This genocide is denied Read more [...]
Chomsky, Noam. Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States. Metropolitan Books. NY, USA. Several editions, subtitles & publishers.
I don’t often review a best seller, but that is what this book by Chomsky has become recently. Although well known to political activists and students of political thought around the world, Chomsky, prolific and active as he is, has never been a popular best seller. That has changed with Hugo Chavez recommending this book to the world at the UN General Assembly. He said. “It’s an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming 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 [...]
“…My name, Amani, means wishes/ but I have only one. /My blood is mixed with/ the soil of our land/ and I will never leave.” Written for students in Grades 7–8 this is the story of a girl who wants to be a shepherd in Palestine where education is esteemed and girls are not expected to watch sheep in lonely pastures. But Amani prefers the pastures to classroom and the company of her dog to urbanized school girls. The story reveals the conflict within a family; religious, gender and traditional roles are all part of the story. But after Read more [...]
Burrows, Beth, Editor. The Catch: Perspectives in Benefit Sharing. Published by The Edmonds Institute, Edmonds, WA, USA. 2005.
When I was given this book by the editor, a world respected authority on biosafety, I knew it was about our biological resources and knowledge, but I was not prepared for the outrageous information about such a benign sounding concept. “Benefit Sharing” is yet another way in which politically and economically poor groups and countries are forced to render unto the Caesars of the world their biodiversity and natural wealth. This one issue is the metaphor for current imperialistic globalization. To read it is to be instructed in how Read more [...]
Butalia, Urvashi. The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. 2000. Duke University Press, USA Viking Penguin, India.
“If we had a keen vision of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” George Eliot in Middlemarch. History is made by everyone and recorded by the powerful. The silence of the poor, the weak, the illiterate – mainly women – is seldom noticed. Urvashi Butalia, an Indian feminist, writer and publisher, grew up in a family whose life was shaped by the Partition. The roar was suppressed but still there. This 1947 Read more [...]
Butala, Sharon. The GIRL in SASKATOON: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder. 2008. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Canada.
“Children such as Alex and I lived in mystery…” Butala is the much loved author of many books and plays; she is best known for her “Perfection of the Morning”, a memoir of her experiences for nature and landscape in southern Saskatchewan. Her writing is deeply rooted in the life of the prairies. If Saskatchewan could be called the quintessential Canada, Butala can be called the quintessential Canadian writer. All her writing has been imbued with the sense of continuity and hope of life despite hardships and failures. Her latest work, 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 [...]