Book review Category

In her book Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature, Janice A. Radway explores the apparent fascination of romantic fiction to many women, and examines the needs this literary genre fulfills for its readers. Our required reading was the Introduction and the first four chapters. The Introduction contains a more up-to-date critique of the […]

Naylor's image of 'Man' is symbolized by all her developed male characters. Invariably, they are the doers and accomplishers in the story — and they always destroy what is around them. Thus for Mattie we have her father, the leader of the family, who also beats his daughter (almost to death, when she won't tell […]

Book authored by Gloria Naylor. Book review originally written in 1996 for an English Writing & Composition class Initially, Gloria Naylor's book The Women of Brewster Place seems to be stories of various women struggling under the inequities of poverty and racism. However, due to her use of symbology, thoughtful study can reveal a deeper […]

Blackness & whiteness White people seemed almost incidental to the story, like mythological spirits or forces of nature, like the hurricane which ends up being the beginning of the end of Tea Cake. They pass through, they are fickle and unstoppable, thoughtlessly damaging, carelessly abusive… and then they're gone, and the mere mortals must pick […]

Women & men I think this is why there are so few whites in Their Eyes Were Watching God, in fact. The real issue isn't white abuse of blacks, at least for Janie. Raised with white children, such that she didn't even realize initially she was black, and living in an all-black town as she […]

Originally posted December 2005 Credits: for my book club, who once again chose something fascinating I wouldn't ordinarily have picked up. Synopsis This is the story of Janie, a black beautiful woman in the 1930's. Told in flashback to a close female friend, she relates her childhood and three marriages. In doing so she also […]

The inadequacy of institutionalized religious responses to the jarring reality of real life issues is part of Spong's self-questioning. He finds hope as well as pain, however, in his search, expressing the excitement of thoughtful study and discussion with like-minded others in an effort to find a Christianity of integrity, love, and equality. It's clear […]

In a similarly challenging situation several years later, Spong has people come to his house, purporting to be friends who represent his entire congregation. They suggest strongly that he, as a white man, should vote according to the racist status quo, and inform him his future in the town and as a priest is at […]

Originally posted October 2005 Credits: for Peter McWilliams, author of the fascinating Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country and a victim of the so-called "War Against Drugs," who first let me know of Spong's wonderful writing. Also for Retired Bishop Spong himself, for making me think […]

There is no doubt in the writing of the author of John as to whether Jesus loved that disciple. Is this a physical as well as spiritual love? There is nothing in John to either verify or deny this speculation. However, in the Gnostic scriptures, also known as the Dead Sea scrolls, there is some […]

Bestiaries depict mythical, moralizing animals, but are also potential allegorical sparks that can bloom into brilliant mental bonfires. My bestiary is this mythologizing animal's fascinated exploration of beauty & meaning in the wonder of existence -- in the hopes of inspiring yet more joyous flares of intellectual passion.

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