Monday, August 24, 2015

The Complete Plays by Anton Chekhov, translated by Laurence Senelick

Chekov was an astoundingly prolific author, “publishing as many as one hundred and sixty-six stories between 1886 and 1887 while practicing medicine.” He’d been writing for magazines, newspapers, and periodicals since 1979 when he entered medical school, hoping to supplement his family’s meager income.
”On a visit to St. Petersburg [in 1885], Chekov had been embarrassed by the acclaim that greeted him, because he recognized that much of his output had been hasty and unrevised. ‘If I’d know that that was how they were reading me,’ he wrote his brother Aleksandr, on January 4, 1886, ‘I would not have written like a hack.’”
If Chekhov became more considered in his writing, his production never flagged. Senelick’s glorious contribution to scholarship on Chekhov includes some works never before translated, but also gives us a thorough understanding of the evolution of Chekhov as a dramatist.

The “Untitled Play” included first in this volume is one Chekhov wrote while still in high school. It suffered innumerable rewritings, unsuccessful submissions, tearing up (!) by the author, but survived because Anton’s younger brother Mikhail had made two copies: one was kept in a safety-deposit box. It is remarkable for its length: there are only four acts, but the first act has twenty-two scenes, runs for fifty pages, and hosts twenty characters, not including the servants. “It’s interest,” Senelick tells us, “lies primarily in its being a storehouse of Chekov’s later themes and characters: the cynical doctor, the cynosure attractive woman, the parasitic buffoons, the practical housewife, and the failed idealist.” The themes are reworked again and again: “most intricately reworked of all, the threat of losing the estate to debts was to become the connecting thread and constitutive symbol of “The Cherry Orchard.””

But pieces of that first play has provided material for playwrights and directors including “A Country Scandal,” “A Provincial Don Juan,” “Ce Fou Platonov,” “Fireworks on the James,” “Wild Honey” (Michael Frayn version), “ Player Piano” (Trevor Griffith’s version), and “Platonov” (David Hare’s version), among others. It makes one laugh, the riches to be mined in a failed play by a man, boy really, who had never before written a play meant to be performed on a stage.

Senelick includes in this collection “all the plays performed during [Chekhov’s] lifetime and posthumous works, performed or not.” He includes variants to the plays, some edited for the censor, some because the play didn’t need the extra words. But with the variants we can see the process of creation and distillation. Senelick did his own annotations and translations, and gives reasons for his word or phrasing choices. The plays I have seen performed do not use his words, but I think the sense comes through in any case. A play must have a little flexibility, though I think Senelick is right when he says that in some cases exact words must be used as written, since sometimes a word or a phrase is repeated like a chorus, meant to develop the meaning of a play over time for the audience.

What a rich experience it must be for students at Tuft’s Fletcher School to have someone direct their plays who knows so much about how a play has come to be, how it has been performed, and how it has been modified. It can't be often that a director has such a deep background in scholarship.

Anyway, included in this volume are short monologues, including one that is my very favorite, entitled “The Evils of Tobacco.” Senelick gives two versions of the monologue, each placed roughly chronologically when they were published. One is very early in Chekov’s “stage” career, and another version, continually revised over the years, is placed at the end, right before “The Cherry Orchard.” Successful professional comedians perform endless versions of the same monologue until they have it pared to its funniest and most striking essentials, and it seems Chekhov did the same here.

The piece is a miracle of parody: a distinguished educator is asked to give a lecture on a popular topic for a charity benefit. Shortly after his introduction, the lecturer merely mentions the word tobacco and is sent off onto a tangent of several minutes. He brings himself back with an exceedingly brief, boring, and overly scientific couple sentences about tobacco and veers off topic again, ranging into the territory of his health, his preferred food choices, and how his marriage is going. It is short, and it is masterful--the result of a long career thinking about, writing, and staging humorous pieces. Do not miss this.

The biography of Chekhov at the beginning of this volume is notable for its depth of knowledge and understanding of Chekhov’s oeuvre. It is short and assured, and gives information that is indispensable for a greater understanding of how, what, and why Chekhov wrote.


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Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Prank: The Best of Young Chekhov by Anton Chekhov translated by Maria Bloshsteyn


This collection of all-new stories by the young Anton Chekhov published this summer by New York Review of Books @nyrb reveals an artist desperate to make a living. He was twenty-two years old and collected these stories hoping to launch his career, but they were never published. Illustrated by Nikolay Chekhov, Anton’s older brother, it was censored before it could come out.

When you read the stories you may be surprised, as I was, at what the censors deemed subversive. The stories are broad comedy, slapstick satires, and absurd parodies of Jules Verne and Victor Hugo. The story “St Peter’s Day” reminds me of Jerome Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, it is so filled with manly boasting and ridiculously goofy repartee. But there is a razor streak of criticism in there and Chekhov gives no quarter. An old peasant accompanying a hunting party drifts off while the other men, middle class and aspiring, buffoonishly discuss where to avoid other rotters who were meanwhile taking the best spots. I kept expecting the old peasant to show up with a hunting bag full while the others expounded, but he never did. The others just left him there.

Translator Maria Bloshsteyn in the Introduction puts these early stories into a perspective that includes Chekhov’s later works. The old peasant left by the hunting party, Bloshsteyn tells us, appears again in Chekhov’s last play The Cherry Orchard. And the social critique of marriage, Russian life, and social strictures that appears in “Artists’ Wives” and “The Temperaments” foreshadows all of Chekhov’s work. A quick look through The Complete Plays by Chekhov, translated and annotated by Laurence Senelick (2006), shows only the late plays of Chekhov not to be “comedic anarchy.” When Chekhov dropped the broad humor for his late plays, his work still had bite but was even more damaging than his humor. “Uncle Vanya,” for instance, exhibits many of the broad categories of personality shown in his early stories but seems almost despairing.

A quote of Chekhov’s chosen for the cover of the above-mentioned collected plays shows his resistance to government interference in daily life:
”My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and the most absolute freedom imaginable, freedom from violence and lies, no matter what form the latter two take.”
Chekhov trained as a doctor in the 1880s. During his residency he began publishing short humorous pieces in magazines as he was the economic mainstay of his extended family. Knowing of his extensive education adds to our enjoyment of his snide observations, and may explain the quote in which he expresses "the human body" and "health" first among his holy of holies.



In “Artists’ Wives,” a short story in The Prank, Chekhov takes a swipe at those living the bohemian life, which included himself:
”Madam Tanner’s vice consisted of eating like a normal human being. This vice of his wife’s struck Tanner to his very heart. 'I will reeducate her!' he said. Once he set himself that goal, he got to work on Madame Tanner. First he weaned her off breakfasts and suppers, and then off tea, A year after her marriage, Madame Tanner was preparing one course for dinner instead of four. Two years after her marriage, she learned to be satisfied with unbelievably small amounts of food. Namely, during the course of twenty-four hours, she would ingest the following quantities of nourishing substances:
1 gram of salts
5 grams of protein
2 grams of fat
7 grams of water (distilled)
1 1/23 grams of Hungarian wine
Total: 16 1/23 grams
We do not include gases here because science is not yet able to determine accurately the quantities of gases that we take in."

In “The Temperaments (Based on the Latest Scientific Findings)” Chekhov describes the “humours” of man, that is to say, how the “Sanguine Temperament in a Male” exhibits:
“The Sanguine male is readily influenced by all his experiences, which is the cause…of his frivolity…he is rude to teachers, doesn’t get haircuts, doesn’t shave, wears glasses, and scribbles on walls. He is a bad student but manages to graduate…”
We read on for two pages and then get the description of “Sanguine Temperament in a Female.”
“The sanguine female is the most bearable of women, at least when not stupid.”
That’s all. We learn about the “Choleric Temperament” ("the choleric man is bilious with a yellow-gray face…" and “the choleric female is a devil in a skirt…”), the “Phlegmatic Temperament” ("the phlegmatic male is a likable man…He is always serious because he is too lazy to laugh."), and the “Melancholic Temperament,” none of which reassure us that human life is worth the resources needed to sustain it.

In “Papa,” the mother of a son failing in school sounds remarkably current:
”Papa, go to the math teacher and tell him to give the boy a good grade. Tell him that he knows his math but that his health is poor. That’s why he can’t cater to everyone’s whims. Force him to do it!”
In “Before the Wedding,” a father speaks with his daughter, the bride to be:
”And, my daughter…European civilization got women thinking that the more children a woman has, the worse for her. How wrong! It’s a lie! The more children, the merrier! No, wait! It’s just the opposite! My mistake, sweetie. Less children—that’s what it is. I read it in some journal the other day—something someone named Malthus came up with.”


Anyway, this is Chekhov unbound, young, exuberant, and silly. His parody of Jules Verne is classic while the one of Victor Hugo sounds more like Chekhov than Hugo. It may have been the translation he had, no? This is Chekhov’s take:
”Then thunder rolled. She fell upon my chest. A man’s chest—it is a woman’s fortress. I clasped her in my embrace. Both of us cried out. Her bones cracked. A galvanic current ran through our bodies. A passionate kiss…”



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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Icarus by Deon Meyer


Deon Meyer is South Africa’s preeminent mystery/thriller writer and something of a wonder. His books have a richness and specificity that bring South Africa (and crimes committed there) vividly to life. This installment of the Benny Greissel series braids several strands of mystery into a single blood-red cord of baling twine from the wine country of Stellenbosch.

Meyer often posts on his website photos of the locales, restaurants, buildings he uses in his novels, and he did in the case of Icarus as well. The site of the action is South Africa’s western Cape near Cape Town.


A large storm in December reveals the body of an internet entrepreneur buried in the sand of Blouberg Strand. Ernst Richter ran Alibi.com, a South African-based website based on the success of AshleyMadison.com, a company promising discretion when arranging infidelities. The manner of his death ties him firmly to the wine country in Stellenbosch, but in the weeks leading to the Christmas holidays, we are turned in many directions, often away from the truth.





Meyer often has several threads working at once in his novels, and this book is no exception. Deliciously, Meyer shares the personalities of the police and how their prejudices, weaknesses, and particular skills influence an investigation. Benny Griessel struggles with alcohol addiction and falls off the wagon when a colleague dies tragically. The description of his ever-present desire and of his failure is agonizingly real.

Griessel’s colleague, Jamie Keyter, will do just about anything to be in the limelight of newspaper reporting, even if it means selling his team down the river. Another colleague, Vaughn Cupido, falls hard for someone he questions during the murder investigation.

While the murder investigation plays itself out, we are treated to a plausible explanation of the unreasonably high subscription numbers of Alibi.com (and by association the AshleyMadison.com), and a realistic scenario for the sites’ growth and financial requirements. Finally, we also get a fascinating short history of wine production in South Africa.

Meyer keeps readers off-balance throughout the novel with rapid and abrupt shifts between strands: the quiet droning of a man relating his family’s genealogy; the drunken stumbling of Benny Griessel on the edge of losing everything; the start-stop of an investigation where so many have things they wish to hide.

If you haven’t already enjoyed Deon Meyer’s oeuvre, feel free to start here. It is often years between novels, and to discover a new Meyer book is an event. Add Meyer to your list and get a whole different outlook. This book will be published October 6, 2015 by Grove Atlantic, but I am telling you about it now because it is being offered as a giveaway currently on Goodreads. I definitely recommend you sign up.


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Saturday, August 15, 2015

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho translated by Anne Carson



This marvelous collection of the extant fragments of verse attributed to Sappho is a glorious spur to the imagination. Sappho was a lyricist, a poet, a musician. It is unknown whether or not she was literate in reading and writing, but her work was collected in writing, and reprinted, but little has survived the centuries. Only one full poem, the ode to Aphrodite, survives whole at twenty-eight lines.



Bust inscribed, literally Sapfo Eresia, meaning Sappho of Eresos. Roman copy of a Greek original of the 5th century BC
attribution of photo: "P.Köln XI 429" by Masur - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons



Sappho was known and lauded throughout the ancient world for the beauty of her poems accompanied by the lyre. She wrote nuptial songs mainly, it seems, for the tenor of the fragments suggest the happy circumstance of a marriage. The Encyclopedia Britannica suggests that Sappho taught young women the arts of courtesanship, seduction, marriage which may (I speculate here) be one reason why she was so universally adored and admired.

Can we all agree that to be a brilliant courtesan requires great intelligence: a deep understanding and acceptance of human nature and desire, and enormous self-control and discipline? Add to this her apparently unparalleled skill as a poet—alas! We do not have enough of her work surviving to adequately judge, but the fragments set us to dreaming and are an undeniable spur to writers and lyricists alike. We will have to trust her contemporaries and sup upon lines like
Eros shook my
mind like a mountain wind falling on oak trees
and
you burn me

Anne Carson has chosen to reprint fragments attributed to Sappho, sometimes single words, separated by brackets to indicate lost fragments. The blank spaces are fruitful places for meditation on what was once there. Sometimes the few words jump from the page
for as long as you want
or
] ] ]
]goatherd ]longing ]sweat
] ] ]
]roses ]
]
]
Does your mind race? And this
]
]
]
]
robe
and
colored with saffron
purple robe
cloaks
crowns
beautiful
]
purple
rugs
]
]
and
]Dawn with gold sandals


attribution of fragment photo: "P.Köln XI 429" by Masur - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons -


If many of the song or poem fragments are songs composed for weddings, just that concept brings a host of associations and an understanding of Sappho’s history. There is more to learn about her as an individual (she had three brothers, was married with a child, was exiled to Sicily in her twenties it is thought) but not much more. It is thought she lived from 610 B.C. to 570 B.C. A collection of her work was published during the Middle Ages in nine volumes but has not survived. Our imagination will have to suffice.

That the work of an individual has so inflamed the public imagination for such a long time is cause enough for wonder. One fragment shows an awareness of her fame
someone will remember us
I say
even in another time
Sappho was a “honeyvoiced…mythweaver,”
]nectar poured from
gold
]with hands Persuasion

The surviving fragments are a kind of spur to the creative mind, and a gift to poets and lyricists today. When becoming stuck, writers could do much worse than flip through this book for its inspiration. To my mind Sappho addresses writer's block:
for it is not right in a house of the Muses
that there be a lament
this would not become us

Apologies to Anne Carson and publisher AA Knopf for not being able to reproduce the high quality typesetting and lovely spacing in this book. If this review is at all intriguing to you, try to lay your hands on a printed copy from 2002. The formatting is as informative as the print.


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Monday, August 3, 2015

Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

Many years in the making, this recounting of the deaths of young black men in the neighborhood of South Los Angeles has the intellectual and emotional impact of a rubber mallet struck hard against the head. It is sickening, anger-inducing, and confounding, like listening to the litany of femicides in Book Four of Roberto Bolaño’s masterpiece, 2666 . Only the facts elicit this reaction, for Leovy’s writing is dispassionate, cool and clear, which is the only way we could get through this horrifying accounting.

Murder rates in South Los Angeles are vastly higher than the rest of the country, a huge proportion of which are deaths of young black males. What strikes the reader first is how few of these cases are solved, or even investigated exhaustively. Police investigators are stymied by the lack of public involvement in their attempts to question witnesses and are both overwhelmed by the numbers of murders and inured to black-on-black violence. They may be sloppy in their collection of evidence, ignore hints given by bystanders, or even fail to get the names right. Unless it touches one of their own, the case may never be solved.

The community can hardly “step up” to give evidence if it means their family will be targeted next by the perpetrators. This inability to cooperate with the police creates a cycle of misunderstandings and inaction and an environment of hostility that perpetuates itself. Only the persistent and timely application of the law—conviction of murders—will break the cycle.

Leovy focuses on one case in particular: the death of the son of a police detective. She follows the case through the investigation, interrogation of witnesses and suspects, trial and sentencing. The whole story is riveting reading. There are so many ways cases in our legal system fail to result in a conviction. That this one case did not fail is testament to the work of a group of dedicated officers who sought justice and actually found it.

Leovy occasionally calls our attention away from that particular case to look at concurrent conditions and investigations in the same or other parts of the city, giving us perspective. What strikes the reader is the utter senseless and capricious nature of the murders. Families with young men play a waiting game, constantly aware of the danger surrounding them. It is an inhospitable, intolerable, and hostile environment in which to live.

Which brings us to Leovy’s closing statements. Perhaps she led us there, writing her case and its solution like a trial lawyer leading to the big reveal: the black-centeredness of the south side of Los Angeles cannot be so ghettoized if it is to survive. Leovy points out the ways that Los Angeles living is appealing—rampant tropical flowers and warm sunshine among them. And many folks resent being chased from their homes (or rent-controlled apartments). There is also the economic reality of not having the funds to move house. But if I was mother to a young black man, I would move away from there as early as I could. Not only does the violence ruin the boy, it kills the man.

Leovy conclusions suggest that crime, especially violent crime, must be adjudicated "with ceaseless vigor and determination" in order for people to feel confident the justice system is working for them. Anything less serves no one. She points out that murder rates have fallen in South Los Angeles since the time she began her writing. Demographic change is one driver:
"the city’s black population is fast disappearing…as the city’s black residents scatter to the exurbs. To some extent, their high homicide rate travel with them. But the change has also coincided with—at long last—a dramatic easing of the residential hyper-segregation that set the conditions for sky-high inner-city murder rates. As black people finally begin to integrate into more mobile and mixed communities, the Monster is in retreat."
Not soon enough for thousands of dead black men.
"Explicitly confronting the reality of how murder happens in American is the first step toward deciding that it is not acceptable, and that for too long black men have lived inadequately protected by the laws of their own country."
I first heard about this book on the NYTimes podcast, which can be downloaded for free on iTunes. This work should be nominated for nonfiction awards this year. It is a splendid job of witnessing.


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Elegy for Kosovo by Ismail Kadare, translated by Peter Constantine

This short and devastating novel of the year 1389 in the region of the Balkan Peninsula is in the form of three stories. A great battle commenced in late June of 1389 in which the Serbs, Bosnians, Croats, Albanian and Hungarian troops were routed by the Turks. The Turkish Sultan, Murad I, and his eldest son were believed to be murdered by their own troops because of a difference in opinion about the direction of the empire. Murad’s blood was spilled on that plain in Kosovo, nourishing the ancient hatreds that grew there like weeds.
"These tales bring to mind the Greek tragedies," [the Great Lady] said in a low voice. “They are of the same diamond dust, the same seed."
"What are these Greek tragedies?" the lord of the castle asked.
She sighed deeply and said that they were perhaps the greatest wealth of mankind. A simple treasure chest, like the one in which any feudal lord hides his gold coins…"

Told in simple and elegant prose, the story relates these ancient hatreds and impresses upon the reader how the oral traditions of the martial minstrels of the region managed to keep the conflict immortal with their songs.

Ismail Kadare, born in 1936, is Muslim by birth in an area of Albania that was primarily Christian. In a 1998 Paris Review interview, Kadare talks a little about the Albanian language and its literary traditions—how it had been mostly oral.

The wide-ranging interview is helpful in understanding what Kadare was saying in this novel. When it was written in the 1990s, the plains of Kosovo were again suffering under the onslaught of warring factions attacking each other "like beasts freed from their iron chains." Kadare had much experience writing under repressive regimes: he studied writing in the USS, and later published work under the regime of Hoxha in Albania.

In a review published in Britain’s The Independent in 1999, Kadare says that "personal freedom for the writer is not so important. It is not individual freedom that guarantees the greatness of literature…" We know this to be true, of course, though literature can also be nourished in a less repressive atmosphere. Kadare took the route of writing elliptical allegorical pieces that were more difficult to interpret, like Chinese writers have been forced to do for decades. In fact, Kadare’s work was so elliptical, some reviewers could mistake his meaning for support of the repressive regime.

Kadare claims this was never his intention. Maria Margaronis, who writes for The Nation, suggests in a review for the online magazine EXPLORINGfictions Kadare’s “Great Lady” in this novel was in fact Madeline Albright, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the war in Yugoslavia, and that Kadare was again writing allegorically and elliptically a support of U.S. intervention to stop the war. Maragonis goes on to say
"But Kadare, of all writers, was uniquely well placed to express in fiction the contradictions facing his people in the post-cold war world. Instead his has chosen to continue the old game, throwing in his lot with those who see the Balkans as a cauldron of atavistic hatreds while claiming favored status for his own tribe. In the long run, this does the Albanians no favors."

Let’s say this: Kadare writes fiction eloquently, clearly, and persuasively. I hope to look further into his work.

A note on the translation: it was done by the incomparable Peter Constantine, who deserves full kudos for retaining the beauty of the writing.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blanche Passes Go by Barbara Neely

Neely writes genre fiction that is quite unlike any other out there: crime without the cops, mystery without a clue, and the romance of a strong, opinionated woman. It is beautiful and flawed and very real. Neely has an agenda, yes she does, but it’s revelatory to hear her concerns. She talks it all out on the page, so we get the picture from where she’s standing. She is fun but thoughtful; playful, but looks straight in the eye of some edgy situations. I mean, maybe you’ve thought about what to do when your neighbor is being beaten by her husband inside her house, loud enough for all the world to hear. Day after day. Well, Blanche comes up with a solution that worked pretty well and it didn’t involve a weapon of mass destruction or murder. Blanche constantly surprises us.

This mystery novel, #4 of the Blanche White series, brings Blanche down to North Carolina from Boston. Her sister’s son and daughter who are in her care, Malik and Taifa, are children no longer and are off for summer work in Vermont and Maine. Blanche is going to help her best friend, Ardell, with her catering business during the bicentennial celebrations in Farleigh, her hometown. Blanche had left behind in her hometown both a former lover, now married, and her rapist, so the pleasure of her homecoming was mitigated somewhat by what she might uncover hidden in her psyche. Besides, her Mom was as armored against intimacy as always, and never seemed to listen, even though she was getting older and needed more assistance than ever to keep everything in working order.

Nothing about this novel was ordinary. Almost every page expressed some real truth or revelation. Neely must have decided at some point she might be polite in company but she was going to write what she thought people ought to know. Thank god for it. Thank god for her. You don’t have to adhere to her beliefs, but by golly, she’s going to tell you what she thinks. She might even give some of us the words to articulate our own defense for a course of action we wanted to take but for one reason or another, felt unable. She makes a lot of sense. Blanche is an example to us.

As a mystery, the novel works very well. The denouement is guaranteed to blow you out of the water. As we begin, we imagine this novel might just be another opportunity to spend time with Blanche and hear her wisecracks on everything from real food to what men like. Nothing wrong with that! But Neely is too sophisticated and wise to just give us what we think we want: she’s gonna surprise us with something we can learn from, delighting us at the same time she is instructing us.

Blanche makes mistakes--really big, life-and-death mistakes--in this novel, all the while sounding like she has things pretty much under control. But we all have done that, haven’t we? Just as we think we’ve learned a few lessons and can dish it out, life and people surprise us. Neely makes us think. She teaches us how to think.

As the train from Boston to North Carolina makes it way south, Blanche slips into patios, anticipating her homecoming. It feels perfectly natural, though we know Blanche of Boston looking after teens is less lenient with herself. We want to relax, too, and hear the real Blanche fooling with Ardell, or romancing her new love interest, Thelvin.

The following quote is classic Neely:
”When the children were small and using up every moment when she wasn’t working for money, she’d soothed herself with a one-day-they’ll be grown fantasy. Now that they were practically grown, instead of trying to convince them to be careful of strangers, pick up their toys, and eat their okra. She was urging them to use condoms, to avoid hard drugs, and to become their very best selves. Different topics, more stressful topics. Who started that bullshit about parenting getting easier as the children got older? What parenting lost in intensity it picked up in worriation.
Or this:
”[Blanche] made up her own spiritual practice, including reverence for her Ancestors and the planet, and seeking energy from trees and healing from the sea. Some things she’d learned from African, Afro-Caribbean, Native American, and Asian ways of having a spiritual life, but she always added her personal twist. Until she’d come up with her own rituals she’d been hungry for ways to demonstrate her belief that there was more to life than she could see—ways that didn’t require her being a member of the Christian or the Muslim or any other religion that had played a part in African slavery. She also had no time for any religions that said she needed a priest or priestess to act as a go-between or worshipped a god called He. She was her own priest and goddess.”

The Blanche White series has four books. Each of them is special in its own way. Originally published in the 1990s by Penguin Books, they are now published in eBook format by Brash Books and can be bought wherever books are sold. Neely’s voice is extraordinary and outside the usual genre categorizations. The Blanche books are a little mystery, a little crime, a little romance, a little social commentary, and altogether unique. As a special treat, we are given a recipe for Blanche's Muscat Sauce from Blanche's Gig from Hell at the end.

My earlier review of Blanche Cleans Up has links to video of Neely talking about her work.


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