What We Are Reading Today: Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn

Updated 16 June 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn

Introduced, edited by Andrei Codrescu

Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) was one of the 19th century’s best-known writers, his name celebrated alongside those of Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. Born in Greece and raised in Ireland, Hearn was a true prodigy and world traveler. He worked as a reporter in Cincinnati, New Orleans, and the West Indies before heading to Japan in 1890 on a commission from Harper’s. There, he married a Japanese woman from a samurai family, changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo, and became a Japanese subject. An avid collector of traditional Japanese tales, legends, and myths, Hearn taught literature and wrote his own tales for both Japanese and Western audiences. Japanese Tales of Lafcadio Hearn brings together 28 of Hearn’s strangest and most entertaining stories in one elegant volume. Hearn’s tales span a variety of genres. Many are fantastical ghost stories, such as “The Corpse-Rider,” in which a man foils the attempts of his former wife’s ghost to haunt him.
Throughout this collection, Hearn’s reverence for Japan shines through, and his stories provide insights into the country’s artistic and cultural heritage.


What We Are Reading Today: Grace Will Lead Us Home

Updated 21 July 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Grace Will Lead Us Home

Author: Jennifer Berry Hawes

Grace Will Lead Us Home is a deeply moving work of narrative nonfiction on the tragic shootings in 2015 at the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes provides a definitive account of the tragedy’s aftermath.
“With unprecedented access to the grieving families and other key figures, Hawes offers a nuanced and moving portrait of the events and emotions that emerged in the massacre’s wake,” said a review in goodreads.com.
It said “Grace Will Lead Us Home — an unforgettable and deeply human portrait of grief, faith, and forgiveness — is destined to be a classic in the finest tradition of journalism.”
Chris Lebron said in a review for The New York Times: “In Grace Will Lead Us Home, the sorrow of the massacre’s three survivors, and that of the relatives left to mourn the dead, is vividly rendered but not to the point of caricature. Similarly admirable are moments when she depicts the difficulties faced by Roof’s family without compelling us to feel for them what we feel for the victims and their relatives.”