Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Book Round-up: The Blue Fairy; Love Each Day;Swift Winds

My friend Karim Khan (Our Man in Pakistn) writing under the pen name Ernest Dempsey has come out with his fourth book, "The Blue Fairy: and other tales of transcendence (Modern History Press, an imprint of Loving Healing Press, "1 in the World Voices Series). Dempsey's previous books are: "The Biting Age" (short stories reveling in satire and wit), "Two Candles" (poetry), and "Islands of Illusion" (poems). Ernest has appeared several times before on Riehlife.

Dempsey's "Blue Fairy" is dedicated to his beloved Aunt Farhana, who died at 35 in childbirth. His description of how this deeply affected him and radically changed his life forms the moving preface of the book. The book itself tells 25 stories that present us with a diverse cast of characters in a range of situations. All face the same fact of life: death.

--how one woman commemorates the death of someone who died for her.
--a surprising act of a woman about to die.
--a mourner who wishes he could stop time.
--parents who have to decide which child to save.

And...21 more. Dempsey is not sentimental, maudlin, nor too removed from his characters and their difficult situations. He presents us with a clear-eyed view of the many faces death shows us. For such a young man, this is a noteworthy achievement. My wish is that in another book Karim may write about Pakistan and the world he and his family live in there.

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"Love Each Day: Live each day so you would want to live it again" by Gail Bernice Holland (Modern History Press, an imprint of Loving Healing Press, Reflections of America Series) provides 40 true inspirational stories. Holland presents uplifting stories from a cross-section of society and ages. An astronaut and high energy physicist rub shoulders with community activists and students to provide portraits of a day they'd like to live over again. What would that day be for you?

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"Swift Winds," by Ron Sakolsky and artwork by Anais LaRue contains 13 pieces in the forms of poetry, rants, and essays. Naturally, I'm keen on the essays most of all. My favorites were: "Lost Utopias," "Harry Smith's American Dreamscapes," and "Rocks in My Pillow."

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