What We Are Reading Today: Before Our Eyes by Eleanor Wilner

Updated 21 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Before Our Eyes by Eleanor Wilner

  • Before Our Eyes features widely anthologized works such as “Sarah’s Choice” and “Reading the Bible Backwards”

Before Our Eyes gathers more than 30 new poems by Eleanor Wilner, along with representative selections from her seven previous books, to present a major overview of her distinguished body of work. 

A poet who engages with history in lyrical language, Wilner creates worlds that reflect on and illuminate the actual one, drawing on the power of communal myth and memory to transform them into agents of change, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

In these poems, well-known figures step out of old texts to alter their stories and new figures arise out of the local air — a girl with a fury of bees in her hair, homesick statues that step down from their pedestals, a bat cave whose altar bears a judgment on our worship of war, and a frog whose spring wakening invites our own. In the process, ancient myths are naturalized while nature is newly mythologized in the service of life.

Before Our Eyes features widely anthologized works such as “Sarah’s Choice” and “Reading the Bible Backwards.”


What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Updated 11 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.

It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother— his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life, according to review published on goodreads.com.

The 18 personal essays collected in this book are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.

His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.