January 2012





The Ballad of Martin B.

Michael Mirolla

Quattro Books, 2011

The Ballad of Martin B.The Ballad of Martin B. uses the punk world as a background for its plot. It follows a young anarchist whose determination to tear down society’s complacency is being guided by ghosts of past thinkers. Not only does the narrative realistically capture the squalor and degeneracy of a very raw underground scene, it also engages the reader intellectually by delving into age-old philosophical issues. This book is a Clockwork Orange on anti-depressants – what Anthony Burgess really wanted to convey but couldn’t quite get down to it because he was afraid of the raw sexual slashing and clashing.

Lost Luggage

Salvatore Ala

Bibloasis, 2011, 80 pp.

Journeys and interrupted journeys are a well-established theme in literature. Gustave Von Aschenback's fateful journey back to Venice and his death began with lost luggage. So also with Salvatore Ala's new collection of poems – his third. Lost luggage and the efforts to find the things of this world retrieved and redeemed are central to Ala's poems. In his new book he presents a unique group of poems about the world of soccer: "The Goalkeeper," "Pelé," The Soccer Ball," and others, show Ala’s openness and refusal to accept the sterility of modern trends. Lost Luggage has many examples of his unique sense of style, his particular blend of candidness and depth. A rare commodity today.

Pain and Metaphor: The Psychopathology of a Stroke

Alessandro and Marinella Longo

Edizioni Kappa, 2011

A stroke: such a sudden and dramatic event can change the life of a family in an instant. It makes you rewrite future plans, but also reminds you of the true values in life. This brief account is the story of such an event, told in the first person by the stroke victim and his wife – a normal couple, and until then, a normal close-knit family. The events take place over a period of one and a half years, from when the stroke occurred to when recovery was almost complete. The aim of the book is to provide a distinctly personal portrayal of events and describe a process of recovery that is of use to those who find themselves having to face similar traumatic experiences.

My Tibetan Daughter

Lisa Carducci

China Intercontinental Press, 2011, 125 pp

My Tibetan DaughterMy Tibetan Daughter is Lisa Carducci’s most recent publication. The book, with scores of photos recounts the author’s aid work among the Tibetan communities of Yunnan and Qinghai provinces since 2003. Through the story of “her two Tibetan daughters,” the reader learns about life, society, the struggle for survival (physical and cultural), and the customs and traditions of the Tibetan people. The author has lived in China for more than 20 years.

Lost Hearts

Vincent Panella

Apollo's Bow, 2010

This powerful suite of stories begins in 1900 against a background of rural Sicilian class warfare. A young man kills his violent, adulterous father and escapes to United States, where his descendents struggle against the bonds of the past. In stories set in the outer boroughs of New York City and beyond, a group of thirteen-year-olds take a blood oath to form a gang, a precocious teenager grapples with adultery, a scrappy diabetic faces mortality in a room stripped of everything but a few family photos, and a mother holds her dysfunctional family together from the citadel of her kitchen. From family conflicts to romantic hardships, author Vincent Panella reveals multifaceted characters over the course of their lives.

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