Shelley Ettinger at Read Red

Some thoughtful recent posts:

A Serb’s story
The second noteworthy book reviewed in last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review is The Delivery Room by Sylvia Brownrigg. Why is it noteworthy? As usual, not because of the review itself, but because of what a careful red reader can glean from it. The novel’s main character, it seems, is a Serb. Not only a Serb, but a politically and historically conscious Serb who sharply opposes the U.S./NATO breakup of Yugoslavia and the imperialists’ 1999 bombing war against her country. Dare I hope? Can it be: a fiction that rejects all the outrageous U.S. lies about Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo that have been served up to justify the Clinton administration/Pentagon/Nato criminal war of aggression? I won’t know for sure until I read it. But reading between the lines of this lukewarm and ultimately politically hostile review, hope swells. …

Joe Hill & Paul Robeson
November 19 is the anniversary of the murder of the great labor organizer and people’s singer-songwriter Joe Hill by the capitalist robber barons’ firing squad in Utah in 1915. Joe Hill’s last written words were in a letter to Big Bill Haywood: “Goodbye Bill. I die like a true rebel. Don’t waste any time mourning–organize!” …

A new James Kelman novel
I’ve read two Kelman novels: How Late It Was, How Late and You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free. I loved them both. Another, Translated Accounts, has been on my night table pile for a while. Now I’ll add this new one, Kieron Smith, Boy to the to-read list. Sunday’s NYTBR review by Marcel Theroux was lukewarm–filled with damning-with-faint-praise formulations like “Still, this isn’t a bad book”–but that doesn’t deter me at all. I’m glad for the review because it alerted me about the book and, well, that’s about the extent of its use. …

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