Posts Tagged ‘multicultural’

The Paternity Test

November 27, 2012

Author: Lowenthal, Michael

Title: The Paternity Test

Genre: GLBT Fiction

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 277

 Geographical Setting: Manhattan (NY), CapeCode (MA)

Time Period: Modern Day

 Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Michael’s Lowenthal The Paternity Test is an incredibly realistic and engrossing story of a gay couple who after almost a decade of their relationship is trying to have a baby through surrogacy. The storyline seems difficult but quite ordinary nowadays, yet because of its complex and deep characters, it quickly becomes a page-turner with multilayered issues of love, parenthood, trust and betrayal. Stu and Patrick are in a long-term relationship. They move from Manhattan’s night life to quiet and peaceful CapeCab, where Stu, a freelance writer hopes to start a family with his partner Pat, an airline pilot. In spite of their love, they used to keep their relationship open; therefore, the leading motivation of having a baby and reconnecting again stays relevant to all couples, gay and straight: does a baby save a marriage? This old cliché is universal for so many couples. However, the dynamics between the characters will never be the same after a decision is made. Consequently, the Brazilian surrogate, beautiful and friendly Debora, has her own obstacles to overcome, and she becomes Pat’s closest confidant. Pat’s family is also very complex characters with straightforward and often conventional, based on their Jewish faith, way of thinking. This novel will take the reader by surprise. The added complications to the couple’s own relationship occurs when one looks for validation and the other for stability and everlasting love,  which makes the story and its rather abrupt ending an eye-opener while exposing our own fears and unexpected life’s twists.

 Subject Heading: Gay couples, Gay and Lesbian Parents, Fatherhood, Surrogate Mothers, Conflict in Marriage, Adult Relationships, Parenthood, Loyalty.

 Appeal: emotional; provoking; realistic and complex characters; multilayered plot; gay community; commitment; contemporary setting; thoughtful; inspirational.

 Three Terms for Book: thoughtful and beautiful portrayal of love; complex and realistic characters, and provoking page-turner.

 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

 1. Lynn,      E. Harris, I Say a Little Prayer – The      new look on the difficulties of homosexuality and faith in      African-American church. The story of a successful      businessman in contemporary Atlanta      and his struggle with his own identity, betrayal, and passion for music.

2. Schwab,      Rochelle Hollander, A Departure From      the Script – The story of traditional Jewish parents who find out that      their 25 year old daughter is a lesbian. Their refusal for her wedding and      denial of her sexual identity is only beginning of this compelling story,      and parents who learn how to accept their child’s choices.

3. Trumble,      J. H., Don’t Let Me Go – written      with a beautiful style story of a teenage love. Two young men are inseparable      since their high school years, despite their sudden separation while one      is seeking an education in distant state. A remarkable novel about genuine      love, but also loss, and hate. Library       School Journal named      it a great addition to GLBT collection “for teens      that are looking for a gay love story that explores a relationship in the      same way that straight love stories do.”

 

 Relevant Nonfiction Works and Authors:

 1. Griswold, Sara, Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories – Intended mothers is a term used to describe ‘mothers to be’ by the surrogacy. This extremely sensitive and quite difficult subject is a choice for many women nowadays. They provide information and new perspectives through individual stories of mothers as an option to become a parent.

2. Huegel, Kelly, GLBTQ: the Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens – The book was published for the first time in 2003 and reedited several times, and is answering questions among teenagers seeking guidance, information, and support while making choices about their own sexual identity.

3. Rauch, Jonathan, Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America – Since gay marriage became legal for the first time in 2004 in Massachusetts, it is still perpetual and controversial matter in many other U.S. states. The author explains by a range of logical, wise arguments the importance of same-sex marriage in the country.

 

 

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

September 28, 2011

Title:  The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Author:  Udall, Brady

Publication Date:  2001

Number of Pages:  423

Genre:  Western

Geographical Setting:  The American West (mostly Arizona and Utah)

Time Period:  Modern setting, but otherwise unspecified date.  Spans first approximately thirty years of Edgar’s life.

Series:  N/A

Plot Summary:  At the age of seven, Edgar Presley Mint has his head run over by a mail truck.  Half Apache and half white, the story of Edgar Mint begins with his miraculous recovery in the hospital.  Abandoned by his alcoholic mother and crazed grandmother who give Edgar up for dead, Edgar is orphaned and sent to live at an Apache reservation school for delinquents with an old and distant uncle.  At the school, Edgar’s otherworldliness, introversion, and inability to socially mingle immediately type him as an outcast.  Armed with a typewriter and a dum-dum loving friend named Cecil, Edgar learns how to survive against the cruelty of children and the ignorance of adults while never losing his innocent yet perceptive outlook on life.  Edgar is then discovered and converted to the Mormon religion by two missionaries and is sent to live with a foster family in Utah, where he again struggles with the concepts of family, love, pain, and growing up.  The story is told from Edgar’s point of view, using alternating first-person and third-person perspectives.  The novel chronicles the life of Edgar from age seven until approximately age thirty, focusing on the years from 7-15 as Edgar encounters hardship after hardship, yet never completely losing faith that the miracle of his survival happened for a reason.  This is a beautifully written, picaresque novel that depicts the very unique character of Edgar Mint, a boy who doesn’t seem to fit anywhere yet tries with all his might to find the one place that he does.  Winner of the Spur Award (best novel of the American West) in 2002, it is thought-provoking and revealing, addressing real issues of Native Americans in the contemporary west, and emotionally engages the reader with Edgar’s quest from page one.

Subject Headings:  Apache Indians; Arizona; Head wounds and injuries; orphans; foster home care; boys; coming-of-age; Mormons; alcohol and drug abuse; families and family dysfunction; reservation schools; hospitals.

Appeal:  character centered, coming-of-age story, single point of view, linear storyline, emotionally engaging, moderately paced, picaresque, Dickensian storytelling, funny, heart-breaking, detailed setting, conversational, multicultural, quirky character, thoughtful, hopeful.

3 Terms that best describe this book: Emotionally engaging, funny, thoughtful

3 Relevant Authors and Works (Fiction): The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (also features young, disabled protagonist on a journey to self-discovery).  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (adventures of a young boy growing up in a specific racial climate). The Misadventures of Silk and Shakespeare by Winfred Blevins (coming-of-age story that takes place in the West, humorous tone like certain parts in Edgar)

3 Relevant Authors and Works (Nonfiction):  Addie  by Mary Lee Settle (a nonfiction memoir that recounts the childhood of a young girl in the Kahawha Valley of West Virginia during the Great Depression); Oh what a slaughter: massacres in the American West, 1846-1890 by Larry McMurtry (recounts the slaughter of Native Americans in the West, authored by prolific and well-respected Western writer); Sitting Bull by Bill Yenne (documents the life of Sitting Bull, starting from his youth).

Name:  Rebecca C.

Ask Me No Questions

August 25, 2011

Author: Budhos, Marina

Title: Ask Me No Questions

Genre: Multicultural

Publication Date: 2006

 

Number of Pages: 157 p.

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: Post 9/11/2001

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: A young Muslim Bangledeshi girl named Nadira and her family have lived in America on expired visas for years working, living, and looking for a way to become United States citizens. Then the events of 9/11 occur and suddenly Muslims are considered dangerous and Nadira’s family is under threat from sides. Ask Me No Questions tells the tale of a girl and her family as they face threats of deportation; increased scrutiny from neighbors and the law. This novel provides an intimate and alternate perspective on the United States “war on terror” through the eyes of 14 year-old.

Subject Headings: Freedom, Patriot Act, war on terror, 9/11, Islam, immigration,

Appeal: short chapters, emotional, inspirational, memorable characters, multicultural, , Issue-oriented, relaxed pace, heartwarming, heart-breaking, detailed settings, dramatic, contemporary.

3 terms that best describe this book: Timely, controversial, informative.

3 Relevant Non Fiction Works and Authors

1.)  They were strong and good by Robert Lawson – The author retales how his grandparents helped build the United States

2.) The Ancient Ship by Wei ZhangRecounting the trial and tribulations of three intertwined families over three generations.

 

3.) Five thousand days like this one: an American family history  by Jane Brox – The history of a family of New England farmers.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.) Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier – An Indian tennager in the U.S. deals with non- acceptane from both Indian and American peers.

2.)  The absolutely true tales of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie – A young Native American leaves his reservation’s troubled high school to attend a majority caucasian high school.

3.) Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper BussBrother and sister refugees are smuggled into the United States from El Salvador and attempt to start a life in Chicago.

Morgan

Midnight Robber

November 17, 2009

Author: Nalo Hopkinson

Title: Midnight Robber

Genre: Multicultural, LGBTQ Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2000

Number of Pages: 330

Geographical Setting: The Caribbean colonized mirror planets of Toussaint and Half-Way Tree

Time Period: Sometime in the far future

Plot Summary: On the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint, the artificial intelligence of the master computer, called Granny Nanny, watches out for the citizens by recording everything that happens and talking to everyone through nanotechnology in earpieces implanted in everyone at birth. When Mayor Antonio kills the rival for his wife Ione, he escapes prosecution by “climbing the Half-Way Tree” through another dimension to the mirror planet of Half-Way Tree and out of the jurisdiction of Granny Nanny. Antonio tricks his daughter Tan-Tan to come with him, but he soon begins forcing himself on Tan-Tan, saying she looks just like Ione. Tan-Tan finally kills Antonio and escapes to the home of the bird-like douen people, who live far out in the bush. Antonio’s second wife Janisette pursues Tan-Tan, who is also pregnant with Antonio’s child. Tan-Tan assuages her own guilt for killing her father by playing the part of the mythic Robber Queen (a character like Robin Hood based in the Caribbean Carnival tradition), and a whole mythology builds up around this character. For more on Carnival characters, visit this link.

Subject Headings: Caribbean Area, Caribbean Novel And Short Story In English, Multicultural, Jamaican, Canadian, LGBTQ, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Appeal: densely written, leisurely paced, vivid and detailed characterizations, intriguing secondary characters, character centered, layered plot, complex episodic storyline, explicit violence, literary references, mythic, open-ended, sexually explicit, incest, thought-provoking, tragic; detailed setting, exotic, gritty, hard edged; homespun conversational style with a lot of unusual jargon.

3 Terms that best describes this book: Exotic, complex and mythic

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Fiction Works

Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez (a scientist raises his daughter in isolation in the Caribbean until love develops between her and a boy of mixed race)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, edited by Sheree R. Thomas (a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories by African-Americans)

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Ejii witnesses her father’s murder, sets off to find her father’s killer and awakens her own mystical powers)

3 Non-fiction Works

Talking Taino: Essays on Caribbean Natural History from a Native Perspective by William F. Keegan (A look at the Taino people, natives of the Caribbean before Columbus, and their perspectives on the natural history of the islands)

Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean by Gerard Aching (A look at masks in the traditions of the Caribbean as a “socially significant practice.”)

Toussaint Louverture: A Biography by Madison Smartt Bell (Biography of a key figure in the Haitian revolution)

Name: Christine E.