Category Archives: New Books Network Podcasts

The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung

“Everyone knows that once upon a time there were nine muses. They were known as the daughters of Zeus, and wise men loved them, for they bestowed the gift of genius. Sing in me O Muse! Cried Homer, and the muses answered: filling his voice and spinning out his mortal talents to make immortal tales. What not everyone knows is that once there existed another sister, who chose a different path.”

Zahara and the Lost Books of Light, Joyce Yarrow

“The windows overlooking the Plaza de Bib-Arrambla have been tightly shuttered against the moonlight. Pavestones suffocate under a deluge of books, codices, with wooden covers, as well as loose pages heartlessly ripped from their bindings. Handwritten in Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew, many of these works are illuminated with gold leaf or inscribe with exquisite calligraphy, only to be thrown together like corpses in a heap. Thousangd of tomes lie strewn about the square, stacked as high as the shelves they once occupied in the libraries of Al-Andalus.”

No Entry, Gila Green

“Have I told you how much elephants are like humans? They can be left-handed or gay and they mourn their dead,” Nadine continues. “Where did you get that?” Yael asks. “By left-handed I mean a preferred tusk. You know elephants don’t have hands, right? “Right,” Yael says. She sticks her tongue out at her new friend. That’s another think Yael’s learned about Nadine. She answers what she wants to answer, hears what she wants to hear.”

The Maverick, Jennifer Vallenti

INTRO:“I read somewhere that blacking out from drinking is caused by the effect alcohol has on the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory. You’re not actually forgetting anything, but rather your brain becomes incapable of storing and recording new memories. This probably explans why I can’t remember much of my undergrad years, but it also would appear to explain why I don’t remember much about how I ended up back in my hotel room with my boss the night of the Holiday party. What led me to this?”

The Anglophile’s Notebook, Sunday Taylor

Californian Claire Easton, who writes a magazine column called “The Anglophile’s Notebook,” travels to England to do research for a book about Charlotte Brontë. She’s already in love with England, where her late mother grew up and where she plans to find some healing now that her marriage of twenty years is imploding. Claire is […]

Death of the Chinese Field Hands, Anne Louis Bannon

“It had been a long day that Tuesday, October 24, in the year of our Lord 1871, and it was a blessing for my three Chinese field hands that it was. The day started with bringing in the last of the grapes for the angelica. My vineyards and winery were my principal support in those days. We had already harvested the cabernet and the merlot two weeks before and the wine would soon be ready to move from the vats in which the grapes had fermented into the casks where it would age. The grapes for the angelica were always harvested last, as thy did not ripen readily. Indeed, even when some of the grapes had already turned to raisins, there were still several green grapes among the clusters.”

A Song From Faraway, Deni Ellis Bechard

“The thought of fleeing Mexico had been beyond the reach of Leon’s mind, but now he grasped the power of change described in Estrada’s book. Reading it, he had seen the shape of Mexico for the first time and understood the nature of the conflict that had not yet resolved at the time of writing. Until then, war’s movement over the landscape had been invisible to him, approaching as clouds might, appearing ssuddenly on the horizon. Through the book, he’d seen the borders of nations and oceans as if observing the planet from the vantage of the moon.”