Erica enjoys playing with words whenever and wherever a willing word is found. She loves reading them as well, and besides the pleasures of food, dance, nature, and music, she lives for the moments when a few words strung together open whole worlds and produce profound emotions and revelations.
Reviews & Recommendations
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Many have proclaimed this to be the best piece of non-fiction in recent memory, for its historical and personal depth, and emotional candor. After inheriting a Japanese netsuke collection, ceramicist DeWall traces the "travels" of these small carvings, acquired by his great-grandfather's cousin, and then moved from Paris to Vienna, to Tokyo, and now London. He gradually uncovers his family's parallel story; rich both monetarily and culturally, and tragic, as the third Reich seizes the possessions of Jewish families in 1938 Vienna. An absolute jewel, if you like history, memoir, intrigue, art, told with passionate elegance.
Have you ever heard someone say they don't read fiction, and thought about all that they were missing? This novel pitches you, head-and-heart-first, into a young boy's world, the youngest of three brothers in a biracial, working class family. In the ever-hopeful child's voice; full of energy, reactive, non-judgmental, the terrain of family life is portrayed with raw, emotional clarity.
Torres conjures the wrenching ties of familial love, allegiances, and expectations, and then the beginnings of personal and sexual self-discovery, with simplicity and amazing skill. This small book is an example of fiction that is breathtakingly powerful, and not to be missed.
On the coast of 1850s Maryland, the escape of the "Dreamer," a female slave who has mysterious visions of the future, has repercussions throughout the region, as she is pursued or given refuge.
Based on actual events, this tremendously engrossing novel features conflicted slave catchers and plantation owners, ruthless slave stealers, and the population of slaves themselves, who employ a secret code of visual clues, in order to aid their fleeing brethren.
Part gripping, old-western tale, part complex morality play, and completely heartwrenching in its authenticity, this book enlightens as it is enthralls, deserving recognition as a classic of American historical fiction.
In 1693, two indentured French immigrants become woodcutters, or "barkskins," in Canada's lush, coastal wilderness. For the next 300 years, their descendants control or rely upon the burgeoning timber industry, as trees are increasingly seen as an infinite resource, to be possessed and plundered. One family ambitiously develops a logging company. The other, marrying into an Indian tribe, grapples with the loss of traditions, power, and culture. Propelled by greed, opportunism, innovation, and imagination, and enduring difficult, perilous lives, the characters of this brilliantly imagined, fastidiously researched novel move toward a modern-day epiphany; a hopeful ecological reversal of the "taming" of the forest.