The Storyteller - Fiction Books!
Review by Jessica Dearborn
Tolucan Times / Canyon Crier - California
"The Storyteller, Volume I" by Martha Whittington
AuthorHouse, Paperback, 514 Pages, $24
When inspiration hits, it is usually followed closely by desire. A willingness to do
whatever it takes to explain your inspiration, to create a picture. For a writer, her
tool is her pen. Storytelling in and of itself can be quite a challenge. For example,
what are you going to talk about? What story are you going to tell? You must have a
beginning that truly grabs, a keeper climax in the middle, and a bring-it-all-back-
together-again, ending. And, the dialogue? you constantly find yourself asking,
"Do people really talk like that?" At that point you will either cringe, cry, laugh, or
simply allow yourself a few moments of madness as you do all of the above
mentioned, plus tear your only copy to mere scattered pieces of what used to be.
Foreboding as it may be, writing can also be individually and socially rewarding.
That is, if you should decide to tread through your insecurities and walk the
uncertain path to the publishing world. Many fear this path and will therefore, never
walk it. On the other hand, there are writers who are not afraid and not only do they
walk it, at times they skip. And this is due to having a few good stories to tell.
Besides, that's all a writer needs, anyway? a good story.
Martha Whittington has earned the right to tell her stories. She trekked around the
world in her early twenties, no doubt having her own adventures, making me
wonder where she has been and what she's seen during her travels. And with her
memories, experiences, and creativity, she has brought to the reader a colorful
novel filled with mystery and encourages every reader, with the turn of each page,
to utilize all of their imagination.
The author shares some of her tales in "The Storyteller, Volume I." It contains six
short stories titled: "The Fennigan Case," "A Unique Team," "The Hidden
Knowledge," "A Gifted Child," "The Witch," and "Sand." Although there is an obvious
lack of editing, and the language and grammar are careless, the stories are
compelling and are worth delving into. In "The Fennigan Case," two rookie reporters
are sent out on a last minute assignment that takes them through a walking
nightmare, and then they disappear. "A Unique Team" is centered on the
consequences of a man's choices. Within the pages of "The Hidden Knowledge,"
there is a teenaged boy who discovers he has a special gift that changes his entire
existence. In "A Gifted Child," a child is born with the kind of soul that when
combined with his discovered powers, he becomes less and less likely to be voted
as Mr. Popularity. "The Witch" is a tale of a malicious woman that terrorizes a small
town. And finally, "Sand" rejoices two brothers bond, and the perils they endure
throughout their travels. Whittington's storytelling ability is magical.
All the stories
are luring, some nail biting, and there are moments that are a little hair-raising. It
captures the readers' senses; inevitably questioning that in which you thought you
knew. Once you regain your composure, it's interesting to reflect on the story and
the characters that you've met. To assume you know where the story will take you is
na´ve. Martha Whittington is a naturally gifted writer and storyteller, and her work
deserves to be read and acknowledged. As for her courage of facing the unknown
world and the other world of publishing, she is fearless and inspiring.
Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.
Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.
Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."
The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.
Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.
The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".
Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".
Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".
Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."
Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.
"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."
The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.
"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.
Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.
Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....
...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...