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Life Is Short but Wideby J. California Cooper
Synopses & Reviews
Occasionally, actually quite often, someone will refer to a family or person as dysfunctional. Which, I believe, is a sign of ignorance, for the obvious reason that 70 or 80 percent of all the people who have ever lived were dysfunctional. The other 20 or 30 percent tried to be, or had sense enough to be, a little wiser. Among them, the greatest were disliked, hated, killed, or crucified. And they weren't even perfect, except one.
For instance they crucified Jesus of Nazareth, and all his disciples, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and others. People who thought as much or more of others than they did of themselves. People killed the people who seemed to wish good things for mankind.
Throughout the history of mankind the struggle for survival on this earth has been extremely, horribly intense and never ending. Wars have been fought, almost continually, when there were enough people to pick sides and fight; and enough dispensable men to be called on to die for their leader, country, or the current god. Then there was slavery; every country or body wanted a slave. Someone to do their work or make money for them. Sometimes slaves were all a war was about. And, if not a whole war, then groups, communities, families, and friends would fight and kill each other. Ain't that interesting?
Not just African slaves; every nationality alive has been a slave, at some time, for some other nation. Believe me. It would seem most of mankind likes killing. For Greed of something, for Gold or financial reward. They doing it now
You probably know all about history so let us skip, for my purpose, to the twentieth century. People are still fighting slavery in one form or another. In many parts of the world women are fighting for food or medicine, a roof for their children, or some way to keep from being raped, while some other females fight to be able to show their naked behinds, breasts, and everything else they can get out in front of somebody.
In several other parts of the world people are being denied their life, or stolen from their life to be sold. Children are being stolen, every day, killed or given away. Everything I can think of, you already know.
I believe all anyone wants is to be happy. Everyone just wants to be happy. Why are they not happy? Other people.
Black people, Brown people, Native Americans are treated abominably. White races are not excluded. Poor white people have a struggle to survive also, no matter what they may think. Poor is the operative word. And yet . . . No one wants to leave this earth. Hate to die or scared to die.
I am trying to say too much, and don't know how to say it. But I have often wondered at the Cain and Abel murder. I have wondered who Cain's progeny are. He and the wife he took to the land of Nod had children; and so on and so on, until today. There must be millions of them now. Sometime I think I recognize one on television; they would be the ones trying to run the world.
When you look at history and life, you know the rich, and most anyone in high places, did not get there by being honest or good . . . a few, maybe. If not they, then an ancestor lied and deceived, even murdered.
You may believe me or not. I don't mind. The truth is not popular.
I truly marvel at the struggle for Love.
Parents, children, relatives, all people are part of it. I'm leaving out the insane or mindless; but they, too, usually respond to love
Like the small towns J. California Cooper has so vividly portrayed in her previous novels, Wideland, Oklahoma, is home to ordinary Americans with big hearts. Among them are newlyweds Irene and Val, who graciouslyallow their neighbors, Bertha and Joseph, to build a house on their land. Together the couples have three daughters, all who struggle to find love and success in the changing world. But although the years may bringhardship and heartache, they also teach the importance of living one's life boldly and squeezing out every possible moment of joy.
An irresistible story of faith and family, Life Is Short But Wide proves that no matter who you are or what you do, you are never too old to chase your dreams.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
J. CALIFORNIA COOPER is the author of four novels, including, most recently, Some People, Some Other Place, and six collections of stories. She was honored as Black Playwright of the Year, and has received the American Book Award, the James Baldwin Writing Award, and the Literary Lion Award from the American Library Association. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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