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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Before, During, After

    Richard Bausch 9780307266262

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Customer Comments

jksquires has commented on (46) products.

A Darker Shade of Sweden: Original Stories by Sweden's Greatest Crime Writers by John Henri Holmberg
A Darker Shade of Sweden: Original Stories by Sweden's Greatest Crime Writers

jksquires, June 10, 2014

I love reading short story collections, particularly in the summer, and this one is excellent. The first one, concerning a reunion of middle aged friends at a lake side cabin where they stayed as teenagers has an eerie, supernatural twist. The Swedes have an extraordinary talent for creating such tales of the "dark side" of human nature.
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Raintree County by Ross Lockridge
Raintree County

jksquires, April 14, 2014

I recently reread this neglected classic after reading Larry Lockridge's Shade of the Raintree, which was a wonderful account of his genius father's brief life, suicide and lasting legacy. Raintree County did not disappoint the second time around. It is essentially a novel about search for meaning in life and the setting of Civil War era America in an Indiana County with a hero who, much like Jay Gatsby, wants to be the hero of his own life. He doesn't seek out riches, but rather wants to compose a great literary work that would be emblematic of the American Republic. He endures, and survives, many battles and Sherman's March to the Sea and comes home seeking out his childhood sweetheart. Some critics feel that Lockridge fell short, but he came very close to the great American novel with his story of Johnny Shawnessy, Nell Gaither, the cynical Professor, the political opportunist Garwood Jones and the doomed Southern beauty, Susanna Drake. There simply is no other book like this one.
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home. by Carol Rifka Brunt by Carol Rifka Brunt
Tell the Wolves I'm Home. by Carol Rifka Brunt

jksquires, March 27, 2014

One could call this a great coming-of-age novel, but it is much more than that. June is a 14-year old suburban girl in the mid-1980's. Her uncle Finn has been godfather and a crucial part of her life and when he dies he leaves behind an intriguing portrait of June and her older sister. Finn, is an an accomplished painter, a gay man who succumbs to AIDS in the early days of the "gay plague." June reluctantly befriends his surviving partner, an Englishman with a checkered past and a deep and satisfying story results. The voice of June is one of the most authentic I've ever encountered.
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Tell the Wolves I'm Home. by Carol Rifka Brunt by Carol Rifka Brunt
Tell the Wolves I'm Home. by Carol Rifka Brunt

jksquires, March 27, 2014

One could call this a great coming-of-age novel, but it is much more than that. June is a 14-year old suburban girl in the mid-1980's. Her uncle Finn has been godfather and a crucial part of her life and when he dies he leaves behind an intriguing portrait of June and her older sister. Finn, is an an accomplished painter, a gay man who succumbs to AIDS in the early days of the "gay plague." June reluctantly befriends his surviving partner, an Englishman with a checkered past and a deep and satisfying story results. The voice of June is one of the most authentic I've ever encountered.
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Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

jksquires, March 5, 2014

Thought provoking is undoubtedly an overused description, but if this book doesn't provoke you to think long and hard about such issues as euthanasia, rationing medical resources, and the tragedy of Katrina, nothing will. When a decision was made to speed the demise of patients with DNR orders, was it an extraordinarily compassionate and brave one, or was it an overstepping of a physician's oath to first do no harm? That the situation was dire and healthcare professionals were heroic in a manner most of us could not imagine facing is quite clear, but the 45 bodies left behind at Memorial Hospital provoked many lingering and complex questions. This book really is about life and death and the razor's edge involved in decisions made in the wake of Katrina.
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