Domestic Violence in the Spotlight

domestic violencedomestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Sponsored by a number of organizations, it is designed to raise awareness of the effort to end violence against women, children and within families. It is estimated that 20% of violent crimes against women are committed by their partners. Locally the effort to support and protect victims is led by the SafeHouse Center. Family violence, spouse abuse, and child abuse are all pervasive problems in American society which need our serious attention. If you are a victim, call the SafeHouse hotline at (734)995-5444 for assistance.

Kiran Desai wins the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006

If you believe that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, then you won’t be surprised to learn that Kiran Desai, daughter of acclaimed author Anita Desai, won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.

Kiran Desai, 35, is the youngest woman (and the first woman since 2000) to be awarded the UK’s most prestigious literary award in its 37-year history. She enchanted the jury with The Inheritance of Loss, an epice novel spanning the globe from India, home of Ms. Desai’s birth, to the tense world of Manhattan’s illegal immigrants.

The other authors on the shortlist for this year were: Hisham Mater (In the Country of Men), Kate Grenville (The Secret River), Edward St. Aubyn (Mother’s Milk), M. J. Hyland (Carry Me Down), and Sarah Waters (The Night Watch).

The Desai women are the first mother/daughter team to be nominated for the Booker. Anita Desai, (Baumgartner’s Bombay and The Zigzag Way), was a finalist three times.

What do opera and bebop have in common?

Not much, except that today, October 10, is the birthday of both Thelonious Monk and Giuseppe Verdi. Thelonious Monk, born in North Carolina in 1917, is best known as one of the prime inventors of bebop, a kind of jazz that uses repitition of sound to create a jumpy, irregular phrasing out of standard tunes. Monk played music with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His two most popular albums are Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Parma, Italy in 1813. His first opera, Oberto, performed at La Scala, was a modest success. After the tragic death of his wife, Verdi vowed he would never compose again but after reading the brilliant libretto of Nabucco, he changed his mind. Verdi wrote a total of 26 operas, his most famous, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Falstaff.

Stormbreaker opens in theaters October 13

The film, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker opens this Friday nationwide. A teen who saw it in England told me it is great. Based on the first Alex Rider book, Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz, it's the story of Alex Rider, a teenager with unusual talents, who is recruited by the British Secret Service to carry out a dangerous mission following the mysterious death of his uncle. Check local theaters for the AA release.

"Daughters of the Dust" at the Michigan Theater

Eli Peazant: "What're we supposed to remember, Nana? How, at one time, were we able to protect those we loved? How, in Africa world, we were kings and queens and built great big cities?"
Nana Peazant: "Eli, I'm trying to teach you how to touch your own spirit. I'm fighting for my life, Eli, and I'm fighting for yours. Look in my face! I'm trying to give you something to take north with you, along with all your great big dreams."

Originally released in 1991, Daughters of the Dust tells the story of the Peazant family, an early 20th century African American family trying to make the difficult decision to migrate north or remain on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where they have maintained their Gullah language and culture. Director Julie Dash creates a stunning portrait of three generations torn between maintaining tradition and the prospect of a new life. Daughters of the Dust won the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Cinematography in 1991. It will show at the Michigan Theater this Thursday, October 12th at 7:15pm and again Sunday, October 15th at 6pm.

World Series- dare we hope?

Leyland

Here we are. The Tigers just wiped out the New York Yankees who were thought by some to be the best team in baseball. Now can they go the rest of the way? I think they can. What do you think?

The Tigers have a great manager in Jim Leyland. He's got the Tigers doing what the basketball Pistons did a few years back. He's got them playing as a team. What a concept! Everybody knows thats what you're supposed to do but you see it so rarely.

If you're interested in the history of the World Series the Library has some great books on the subject.

Martha Graham Study Club here Tuesday night

If you're planning to attend the October 13 or 14 UMS performance of the Martha Graham Dance Company, you don't want to miss the study club here at AADL Tuesday night. Peter Sparling, UM Professor of Dance and former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, will talk about Ms. Graham's life and legacy in the world of American modern dance and present rare archival footage and demonstration. This event is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, October 10, 7-8:45 p.m. in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room. Meanwhile, the Martha Graham Dance Company is also featured on the DVD Martha Graham in Performance, "...among the two or three successful dance films ever made." (Clive Barnes).

Commercial sellout or exciting new kind of teen read?

Cathy's Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233 has been panned by the publishing world for its ties with Proctor & Gamble. The story includes mention of various Cover Girl products. In addition Proctor & Gamble is helping to promote the book.

The book’s main character, Cathy, is searching for her boyfriend who disappears shortly after breaking up with her. As she turns up clues (phone numbers or a company name) she calls the numbers or Googles the company name. You, the reader, can too. By dialing the phone numbers and searching the web you can glean additional information.

Intrigued or turned off? We haven’t ordered this book yet. Should we?

Annie Get Your Camera

It’s hard to shake a stick without running into a photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz lately. Famous for her Rolling Stone photographs of the 70’s and 80’s, she most recently made headlines for snapping the coveted first pics of little Suri Cruise and family. Now she’s released a new book. A photographer’s life 1990-2005 draws not only on her evocative images of the rich and famous, but also exhibits work from her private, personal life—her friends, family, and in particular, the late Susan Sontag.

Some of these photographs are also featured in the DIA’s exhibit, on display through January: Annie Leibovitz: American Music, which chronicles her role as a photographer of American Roots musicians and those who’ve been influenced by the movement. See images up close and in personal of B.B. King, Pete Seeger, The White Stripes, and many others.

Buck O'Neil, A Baseball Legend Dies

buck o'neilbuck o'neil

John "Buck" O'Neil, age 94, passed away in a Kansas City hospital Friday night. A player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues as well as the first black baseball coach when hired in 1962 by the Chicago Cubs, O'Neil was known not only for his love of baseball but also for life.

Buck was a fabulous storyteller and was "discovered" in his 80's when he appeared in Ken Burns series, Baseball. Read some of those stories like why baseball great, Satchel Paige called him "Nancy" in the Kansas City Star.

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