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What is Told by Askold Melnyczuk


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The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach


Pam Jenoff - 2015
    Young Adelia Montforte flees fascist Italy for America, where she is whisked away to the shore by her well-meaning aunt and uncle. Here, she meets and falls for Charlie Connally, the eldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys next door. But all hopes for a future together are soon throttled by the war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.Grief-stricken, Addie flees—first to Washington and then to war-torn London—and finds a position at a prestigious newspaper, as well as a chance to redeem lost time, lost family…and lost love. But the past always nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.Originally published in 2015.Don't Miss Pam Jenoff's new novel, The Woman With The Blue Star.

The Crucible: Text and Criticism


Arthur MillerAldous Huxley - 1971
    Based on historical people and real events, Miller's drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town's most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminate the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence. Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy's "witch-hunts" in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing "Political opposition...is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence." The Viking Critical Library edition of Arthur Miller's dramatic recreation of the Salem witch trials contains the complete text of The Crucible as well as extensive critical and contextual material about the play and the playwright, including:Selections from Miller's writings on his most frequently performed playEssays on the historical background of The Crucible, including personal narratives by participants in the trials and records of witchcraft in Salem from the original documentsReviews of The Crucible, in production by Brooks Atkinson, Walter Kerr, Eric Bentley, and othersExcerpts from Jean-Paul Sartre's Les Sorcières de Salem, a "spin-off" of Miller's play, and three analogous works by Twain, Shaw, and Budd SchulbergCritical essays on the play, on Miller, and on the play in the context of Miller's oeuvreAn introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers prepared by Malcolm Cowley, and a bibliography

In Sunlight and in Shadow


Mark Helprin - 2012
    In 1946, Harry Copeland has returned after fighting in the 82nd Airborne from North Africa all the way to the Elbe. Reluctantly assuming the direction of the family fine leather goods manufacture, he finds his life unsatisfactory and on hold – until he is “accidentally” united with Catherine Thomas Hale, the woman for whom he has been waiting all his life, although the forces behind his patience have never been revealed to him. A young actress, singer, and heiress, she has been waiting for him, even if she has known this only in flashes that do not come clear to her until the end of the narrative, and that have not prevented her engagement to a much older man who has been taking advantage of her since childhood.The meeting of Catherine and Harry, their courtship, and their intense love, play out on the stage of New York awakening at mid-century – in the deep worlds of the theater, industry, and high finance, and during the collision of aristocratic New York society with the formidable wave of second-generation, fully assimilated Jews. Though after being broken in the war Harry wants nothing but peace, family, and love, organized crime carries on its extortions as always, even in a city now full of the kind of men who stormed the Point du Hoc and the Siegfried Line. This becomes his moral and physical struggle. While Catherine’s is of a different nature, it is just as consequential, and the courage required of her is perhaps even greater.Of the widest scope – from the air over Sicily to the heat-and-color-saturated Sacramento Valley; the Bay of Biscay to the sea off Maine; the steel mills of Gary, Indiana to the beaches of Amagansett; London in the blitz; the invasion of Normandy; and a single shell gliding across an American lake in August; from the luminous houses of the wealthy to the pounding of the boards beneath a Broadway chorus line – this is yet, first, and foremost a love story, but also a hymn to New York of the period when one great age elided into the other that we call our own. Rich in language and classical allusion, it is true to the mottoes at its outset: the Dantean “Amor mi mosse, che me fa parlare,” “Love moved me, and made me speak,” and to the lines of Lucretius that describe Catherine’s extraordinary representation of the powers, beauties, and graces of womanhood – “Nothing comes forth into the shores of light, or is glad or lovely without you.”

The Prussian Captain


Ann Brough - 2017
    But life and love may be found in the most unlikely places—the poverty-stricken streets of Neck End. 1898… Edward turned twenty nine-years-old on the ship. Looking out over the gray water back towards America, his heart ached for both the country he had adopted and loved, and for the woman he had lost there. He was returning to England without having 'made good'. Without any fortune. When Edward meets Gertrude and is captivated by her youth and beauty, his hope for the future is transformed. But this is an era when the rich and poor of England each have their own firmly defined limits. More than any social boundary is a far greater problem—he’s already married. Giving a glimpse into the realities of the very wealthy and the desperately impoverished of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, The Prussian Captain is the story of two opposite lives colliding. One is marked by finery, decorum, servants, and first-class adventures crisscrossing the Atlantic. The other is stuck in a life of abuse, alcoholism, and the depressed state of the working poor of industrialized England. Start reading The Prussian Captain today and discover if Edward and Gertrude risk it all to overcome their stations in life. Will they each find what they are looking for? Find out today!

Liverpool Daisy


Helen Forrester - 1984
    In a Liverpool torn by the Depression, Daisy Gallagher grows to womanhood the hard way. She is the mainstay of her poverty-stricken family and the devoted friend of Nellie O'Brian, who is dying for lack of medical attention. Daisy's desperation for money leads her into the darkened streets and into the arms of drunken sailors willing to pay for their relief. Through her own strength and suffering, Daisy earns enough to pay for her friend's much needed medical attention. Her family know nothing of her occupation, but when her stoker husband returns from the sea Daisy realises, terror-stricken, that the moment of truth has finally arrived...

Soul Catcher


Michael C. White - 2007
    Rosetta is a runaway slave who bears the scars, inside and out, of a life of servitude to a cruel and unforgiving master. Her flight is fueled by a passion and determination only a mother could feel, and she would rather die than let anyone drag her back to hell. In a dark, volatile time prior to the Civil War, fate has bound the hunted and hunter on a remarkable odyssey from Virginia to Boston and back again—an extraordinary test of character and will, mercy and compassion, that will change them both forever.

Whose Names Are Unknown


Sanora Babb - 2004
    In the belief that Steinbeck already adequately explored the subject matter, Babb's lyrical novel about a farm family's relentless struggle to survive in both Depression-era Oklahoma and in the California migrant labor camps gathered dust for decades. Rescued from obscurity by the University of Oklahoma Press, the members of the poor but proud Dunne family and their circle of equally determined friends provide another legitimate glimpse into life on the dust-plagued prairies of the Southwest and in the fertile, but bitterly disappointing, orchards and vineyards of the so-called promised land. Babb, a native of Oklahoma's arid panhandle and a volunteer with the Farm Security Administration in Depression-era California, brings an insider's knowledge and immediacy to this authentically compelling narrative. A slightly less political, more female-oriented, companion piece to The Grapes of Wrath.

A Pledge of Silence


Flora J. Solomon - 2012
    Though rumors of war circulate, she feels safe—the island is fortified, the airbases are ample, and the Filipino troops are well-trained.But on December 8, 1941, her dream world shatters. Captured by the invading Japanese, Margie ends up interned at Santa Tomas, an infamous prison camp. There, for the next three years, while enduring brutality and starvation, her bravery, resourcefulness, and faith are tested and her life forever changed.At once an epic tale of a nation at war and the deeply personal story of one woman’s journey through hell, A Pledge of Silence vividly illustrates the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made for their country, and the price they continued to pay long after the war was over.

The Island of the Righteous (ebook)


Stefanos Livos - 2015
    Pantelis Kokkinis and his family live under the dark cloud of Italian occupation. As the horrors of the war draw nearer, reality for the Kokkinis family grows more and more fraught. Long-held secrets, raw emotions, and the fear of what’s coming leave them scrambling to hold their emotions in check and their family together.When Pantelis meets Violetta Dalmedikos, the beautiful daughter of a prominent local Jewish family, he is instantly smitten. Unfortunately, love between a Christian and a Jew is strictly forbidden.In 1943, the German commander demands a list with all the Jewish residents of the island. The Mayor and the Christian bishop hand in a list with only two names: theirs. Overnight, the Jewish population goes into hiding as Christian Zantiots make a great sacrifice. Pantelis and Violetta come closer, and a medieval treasure suddenly vanishes.80 years later, Pantelis’ grandson is looking for the treasure. What he unearths is a shipwreck, a manslaughter, and a truth he never expected.

Snow Falling on Cedars


David Guterson - 1994
    But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched.

The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky


James Ohio Pattie - 2018
    Pattie’s Personal Narrative is a prime source for the history of the Southwest during the 1820s. He, and a group of fur trappers, set out on a journey from St. Louis to California and back. After Jed Smith’s trip this journey, which began in 1824, is the second known expedition to California. This remarkable book records an eyewitness account of what the West was like before the great swathes of migration occurred. Pattie’s book fully explores the dangers of life as a trapper in the wilderness of the far west, including during one episode after Pattie and a group of French trappers were attacked and only three of them survived. Personal Narrative provides fascinating insight into the earliest clashes that were beginning to occur between citizens of the travelers from the east, Native Americans and Mexicans as United States began its great westward expansion. Yet, Pattie also demonstrates how there was great cooperation between groups, for example when he aided Mexicans, Native Americans, missionaries and settlers with smallpox vaccinations. It is essential reading for anyone interested in finding out more about the Old West and life of this fascinating American frontiersman. James O. Pattie first published his account The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie of Kentucky in 1831 and he passed away in 1851.

All That Is


James Salter - 2013
    It was a time when publishing was still a private affair - a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe - a time of gatherings in fabled apartments, parties into the night. It is a world in which to immerse himself, a world of intimate connections and surprising triumphs. But the deal that Philip cannot seem to close is love: one marriage goes bad; another fails to happen; and, finally, he meets a woman who enthralls, then betrays him, setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself. Written with Salter's signature economy of prose, All That Is fiercely, fluidly explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change: a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, of the small shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.

America America


Ethan Canin - 2008
    Soon, through the family’s generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president of the United States. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with one of the Metarey daughters as well, and he begins to leave behind the world of his upbringing. As the Bonwiller campaign gains momentum, Corey finds himself caught up in a complex web of events in which loyalty, politics, sex, and gratitude conflict with morality, love, and the truth. America America is a beautiful novel about America as it was and is, a remarkable exploration of how vanity, greatness, and tragedy combine to change history and fate.

The Son


Philipp Meyer - 2013
    The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to Comanche life, learning their ways and language, answering to a new name, carving a place as the chief's adopted son, and waging war against their enemies, including white men-complicating his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, and overwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized or fully wild, he must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully belong-a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that reverberates in the lives of his progeny. Intertwined with Eli's story are those of his son, Peter, a man who bears the emotional cost of his father's drive for power, and JA, Eli's great-granddaughter, a woman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed in a man's world.Phillipp Meyer deftly explores how Eli's ruthlessness and steely pragmatism transform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor, children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richest powers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCoulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.Harrowing, panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievement from a sublime young talent.

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets


Oksana Zabuzhko - 2009
    At its center: three women linked by the abandoned secrets of the past—secrets that refuse to remain hidden.While researching a story, journalist Daryna unearths a worn photograph of Olena Dovgan, a member of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army killed in 1947 by Stalin’s secret police. Intrigued, Daryna sets out to make a documentary about the extraordinary woman—and unwittingly opens a door to the past that will change the course of the future. For even as she delves into the secrets of Olena’s life, Daryna grapples with the suspicious death of a painter who just may be the latest victim of a corrupt political power play.From the dim days of World War II to the eve of Orange Revolution, The Museum of Abandoned Secrets is an “epic of enlightening force” that explores the enduring power of the dead over the living.