The Book Babes January radio show airs Wednesday, January 20 at 11:30 a.m. on WMNF-FM 88.5 Tampa and on the Internet at wmnf.org.
Margo unveils her New Year's Resolution: Read more books connected to current events. She recommends three books on Haiti: a trilogy of novellas, a travel book and a poetry anthology. Ellen adds two of her favorite Haiti-related tomes: a memoir and another trilogy, this time of novels. (See titles below)
Ellen recommends an old book that she read to prepare for her recent trip to Israel, which still is helpful in sorting out current affairs in that troubled city: Karen Armstrong's "Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths" (Ballantine, 1997).
Margo interviews Ellen Ruppel Shell, author of "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture" (Penguin Press, 2009). The Boston University professor talks about how our insatiable desire for cheap goods has impacted poor countries like Haiti as well as our own pocketbooks.
This week the National Book Critic Circles announces nominations for its 2009 awards. Ellen talks about the titles she hope make the cut. (See titles below)PRIZE-WORTHY 2009 TITLES
"Let the Great World Spin," by National Book Award.-- the fiction winner,
LEARNING MORE ABOUT HAITI
"Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Trilogy," by Marie Vieux-Chauvet, a new translation by Rose-Myriam Rejouis and Val Vinokur, introduction by Edwidge Danticat (Modern Library, Random House) -- a seering trilogy of novellas set that underscore the nation's ongoing social and political turmoil. Originally published in 1968, it was immediately suppressed as too inflamatory, it was finally issued in French in 2005. This U.S. translation was published last August.
"After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti," by Edwidge Danticat -- a combination of travelogue and memoir, this 2002 volume is part of the series Crown Journeys, issued by Crown Publishing.
"Open Gate: An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry," edited by Paul Laraque and Jack Hirschman (Curbstone Press, 2001) -- the first bilingual collection of modern Haitian Creaole poetry for English readers. Among the poems is this unfortunately timeless gem from Suze Baron (Siz Bawon in Creole):
enriches the soil
if it were so
if it were so
rice millet and corn
would be plenty
in Haiti"Brother, I'm Dying," by (Vintage, 2008) -- a touching memoir by the Haitian-born author contrasting the lives of her father who immigrated to the U.S. and her father's brother who stayed behind.
"All Soul's Rising," by(Vintage, 2004) -- 1995 National Book Award, the first of three novels about Haiti.