Book Review: NW by Zadie Smith

Synopsis ( Source NYTIMES) ” Zadie Smith’s latest novel, NW introduce es four characters Leah, Felix, Keisha (renamed Natalie) and Nathan, all of whom grew up in the same improverished part of Northwest London the postal code for the area is the NW of the title, and Caldwell — the housing project where the characters were raised is the only fictional place on a very real map. The project consists of 5 tower blocks each named for a giant of English Phlosophy: Smith, Hobbes, Bentham, Locke, Russell. Given the grimness of the locale, the names only slightly less amusing than the titles of real tower blocks in Kilburn, which are named for Austen, Dickens, and, Fielding. There are times when the ironies of fiction cannot match those that reality provides…”My impressions:In our opening scene Leah is thrown headfirst into Shar’s emergencyShe claims to need money to go see her Mom in the emergency room. She lands on her doostep disheveled and in tears and very casual about revealing details of her brutal past.We, the readers, soon discover that all this was a ruse to get ( possibly ) drug money. My curiosity is peaked. Even though Michel, her husband, doesn’t think she is to bright for giving an absolute stranger money; He still confronts Shar about it when they later bump into her on the street.I’m getting drawn into what I perceive to be a novel version of my favorite British soap opera East Enders.Much to my dismay we are thrown into Leah and Natalie’s story( Not much about Shar after this) which doesn’t really get interesting for me until almost the end of the book. By page 67 I feel like I had been trying to walk through quicksand; the action has slowed considerably.I get that Natalie who is a lawyer represents the haves and Leah, who works for a nonprofit represents the have nots. Of course there is enough diversity in neighborhood to touch on racism, however unlike the beauty of “White Teeth” it felt forced.My biggest issue with the story I suppose is the way it was structured. By placing Felix’s story in the middle and then yanking us back to Natalie’s I’ve lost interest because I do not know what connection Felix had to their story. I felt like I had been blindfolded and thrown into a maze through about 2/3 rds of the book ; I’m left struggling to figure things out. I felt there may have been too many plot complications. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars


Book to Film Adaptations: It Chapter 2 and The Goldfinch

Stephen King IT

Like OMG I am terrified of the trailers! Something about an elderly woman running around naked and trying to attack Beverly Chastain’s character in the first trailer is unsettling. As if that was crazy enough there is a scene in the second trailer that reminds me of Stephen Carrie in that someone is covered in blood( Hard to tell when trying to watch this through your fingersπŸ˜‚)

I did read the book and use to watch the other Stephen King movies, but when it got to the tv adaptation in the ’90s that changed. From the moment that clown started talking to that little boy out of the sewer , it abruptly ended my need to know what happen!( My best friend laughs at me).Hey you can call me whatever it is normal for what looks like a grown man to be living in a sewer. So why did I read ” Pet Cemetary”, “Cujo”, ” Misery” and ” Four Past Midnight” etc…. Glad you asked Stephen King is the master of describing not only how things go wrong, but how it feels when it goes wrong. Those moments your skin crawls, your heart is pounding, or you are so scared to cannot breathe, as we struggle to make sense of what is happening in these situations. Without further adieu.

Release date: September 5, 2019

Synopsis: Twenty- seven years after their first encounter with terrifying Pennywise, the Loser’s Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

Cast : Characters names are on the left;thep actors names on the right in parenthesis

Penny wise ( Bill Skarsgard)

Young Richie. ( Finn Wolfhard)

Beverly Marsh. ( Jessica Chastain)

Bill Denbrough. ( James McAvoy)

Young Beverly. (Sophia Lillis)

Richie Tozier. (Bill Hader)

Young Eddie. (Jack Dylan Grazer)

John “Webby” Garton. ( Jake Weary)

Young bill ( Jaeden Martell)

Ben Hanscom. ( Jay Ryan)

Adrian Mellon. (Xavier Dolan)

Eddie Kaspbrak. ( James Ransone)

According to AV news, there was a rumor that Stephen King wrote some of the scenes in this installment but turns out the director asked for input and he merely suggested a couple scenes from the original novel. Of course the director obliged him it is Stephen King. Also the hate crime portrayed in the movie that was based on the real life Charlie Howard a gay man who was killed in 1984 by teenagers. They lived in Maine at the time.(Source:Vanity Fair). The movie was originally 4 hours long, the cut enough to make it just under 3 ,the edited scenes may show up in the director’s cut.

The Goldfinch

Release Date: September 13, 2019

Synopsis: A boy in New York is taken by a wealthy Upper Eastside family after his mother’s killed in an terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the confusion of the attack he steals a valuable piece of art work known in the Art World as the Goldfinch.

Cast: The actor’s name is in parenthesis and the character’s name on the left.

Mrs. Barbour. (Nicole Kidman)

Xandra (Sarah Paulson)

Theodore Decker. ( Ansel Elgort)

Pippa (Ansel Cummings)

Boris Paulikovsky. (Aneurin Barnard)

Larry Decker. (Like Wilson)

Hobie. (Jeffery Wright)

How cool is this. Finn Wolfhard is Young Richie in the It Chapter 2 Movie and Jeffery Wright plays Berger in the Hunger Games.

Young Boris. (Finn Wolfhard)

Fun fact there really is a Goldfinch painting. It’s an oil painting by Carel Fabritus created in 1654. Currently in Hague, Netherlands.(Source: Radiotimes)

It took 40 million dollars to make this movie which is alot of coins for what would considered an indie film.

@theGolfinch movie tweeted August 26 Every secret has a price #theGoldfinch arrives in theaters September 3.

Mingus at the Showplace by William Mathews

I was miserable, of course for a I was seventeen,

And so I swung into action and wrote a poem

And it was miserable for that was how I


Poetry worked: you digested experience

And shat

Literature. It was 1960 at the Showplace long


Defunct, on West 4th., and I sat at the bar,

Casting beer money from a thin reel of ones,

The kid in the city, big ears like a puppy

And I knew Mingus was a genius. I knew two

Other things, but they were wrong as it happened

So I made him look at the poem

“There’s a lot of that going around, ” he said

And Sweet Baby Jesus he was right. He laughed

Amiably. He didn’t look as if he thought

Bad poems were dangerous ,the way some

Poets do.

If they were baseball executives they’d plot

To destroy sandlots everywhere

So that the same could

Be saved from children later

That night he fired the pianist in mid-number

And then flurried him from the stand.

“We’ve suffers a diminuedo in personal, ”

He explained ,and the band played on.


This week I would like to take a moment to honor one of my favorite authors. Someone on Instagram or Twitter said she had a gift. While I agree wholeheartedly, I would say she not only had a gift for turning a phrase or transporting us back into time, She had THE GIFT. What do I mean by this? Anyone that can take an African American experience and make it a HUMAN experience has THE GIFT. Someone who can write novels supremely different—a varied body of work has THE GIFT. I like writers and artists who aren’t more concerned with commercial success versus having a profound insight or talking about topics that may even be Taboo.

For me, Toni Morrison was all these things. Beloved, Sula, and Song of Solomn stood out for me. Rest in Peace Ms Morrison Rest in Peace.

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Nominees(Poetry)

Omg! I am looking forward to reading these poets. As an African American who loves to read and write poetry, I had to do this category first.

The Hurston/Wright Legacy awards have been around since 2001. This is for African American Writers from African Americans. So important to have our work judged by the same cultural lens. So without much further adieu:

Title: Approaching the Fields

Author: Chanda Feldman

Awards: Promise Award from the Sustainable Art Foundation

Recognition: Wallace Steger Fellowship at Stanford University

Title: Davida (published posthumously)

Author: Monica A. Hand

Awards: Winner of the 2010 Kinereth Gensler Award

Special note: after a 32-year career with the US Postal Service she received an MA in poetry and translation from Drew University in 2011. She moved to Columbia, Missouri to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Missouri

Recognition: served as a founding member of the poetry collective poets for Ayiti

Previous works: Me and Nina

Title: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assasin

Author: Terrence Hayes

Awards: 2018 TS Eliot Prize for Poetry 2018 and 2010 National Book Award 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry

Special note: Influenced by Wanada Coleman who he calls ” Miss Calamity”

Recognition: Fellow Mac Arthur Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation

Previous work: Muscular Music, Winding Box, Lighthead

Title: Pardon My Heart

Author: Marcus Jackson

Special note: Influenced by Tracy K.Smith” Life On Mars” and Philip Levine’s “One for the Rose” to the name a few

Recognition: Cave Canem Fellow

Previous works: Rundown, Neighborhood Register

Title: Mend

Author: Kwoya Fagin Maples

Awards: Finalist Robert Dana Anhinga Poet

Special notes: Directs a multi-discipline exhibit which combines, painting, photographs, poetry and film

Recognition: Cave Canem Fellow Homeschool Lambda Literary Fellow

Previous Works: Something of Yours

Title: Crosslight for Youngbird

Author: Asiya Wadud

Special note: Leads an English conversation group for immigrants at the Brooklyn Public Library

Recognition: Member Belladonna Collaborative

Upcoming Works: Syncope, No Knowledge is Complete Until It Passes through My Body.

I cannot wait to read these books this fall. I only have 3 more books on my TBR so I got room.πŸ™‚πŸ‘ŠπŸ‘

Part two I will share the Fiction Nominees