Hard Candy, Nobody Ever Flies over the Cuckoo's Nest; Book Review
HARD CANDY: Nobody Ever Flies over the Cuckoo's Nest; Written by Charles A. Carroll is a must read.
This book should be sitting on the desk of every governor, senator, representative, every director, educator and all students in departments of human and social services, psychology and public health available as a ready reference to the bureaucratic nightmare and lost humanity of a system set up to protect and care for our abandoned children and our mental and physically deficient citizens of all ages. Hard Candy is a must read for anyone who even pretends to care about the welfare of our children. This is an unforgettable saga of the will of a young human spirit to survive incarceration in one of our nation's institutions with living conditions so sadistic, brutal and degrading that "child abuse' doesn't come near describing this disgrace.
I had the privilege of meeting the author and reading an advanced copy of this soon to be released book. The ever gracious host, Charles has devoted his life to the pursuit of knowledge and generating awareness about the abuse that still occurs to this day inside such institutions. Do not for one moment think that his is a tale of yesteryear and we have fixed the problems, improved the system.
Told with the innocent clarity of a young child interspersed with the accumulated knowledge and hindsight analysis of the adult, this true story travels through a decade during which the author as a young boy was repeatedly abandoned by the system and lost in the tombs of a bureaucratic hell.
Left on the doorsteps of an orphanage as a toddler with his less than one year older sibling who was probably borderline retarded, this is a tale of an enduring love between two brothers who had no one else in life but each other. Never loosing the impish grim and charming good looks, Charles along with his brother traveled from orphanage to foster home to state institution to foster home and back to state institution. As a court order required the brothers not to be separated, a terrified young Charles found himself joining his brother in a state facility for boys with mental disabilities, "a nuthouse" as one would call it. No one bothered to notice that this was not an appropriate placement for a perfectly normal little boy.
The story relates in chilling detail the daily living horror that was Charles' life. A normal youngster dumped in with society's outcasts in a nightmarish hell of abuse, hunger, filth, punishment, neglect and unending loneliness. A world where almost all adults he encountered continued the pattern of outright brutality and physical abuse or in true institutional form looked with strong blinders the other way and just did their time at the job. A world where children were left just to sit for years, suffering unending misery and boredom, never given the chance to develop their natural capabilities in any manner. The will to endure, protect his brother and survive kept Charles placing one small foot in front of the other each despairing day. The will to maintain his sanity in an insane place, to endure suffering no child should ever be expected to face and to survive to bear witness against an unjust and little known system gives Charles the strength to speak for the all but forgotten.
Judith Kerr, the author and illustrator whose debut picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea introduced generations of pre-school children to the joyful chaos of uncontrolled appetites, died at home yesterday at the age of 95 after a short illness.
Kerr, whose first book was published when she was in her 40s, published more than 30 books over a 50-year career, immortalizing a succession of family cats through the naughty but lovable Mog, and bringing to life her family's flight across Europe as the Nazis came to power in the novel When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.
Binyavanga Wainaina, a prizewinning Kenyan writer whose humorous, incisive books and essays explored themes of postcolonialism, gender and sexual identity, including his own decision to come out as a gay man in a country that long demonized homosexuality, died May 21 in Nairobi. He was 48.
Jokha Alharthi, the first female Omani novelist to be translated into English, has won the Man Booker International prize for her novel Celestial Bodies.
Alharthi, the £50,000 award's first winner to write in Arabic, shares the prize equally with her translator, American academic Marilyn Booth. Celestial Bodies is set in the Omani village of al-Awafi and follows the stories of three sisters: Mayya, who marries into a rich family after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries for duty; and Khawla, waiting for a man who has emigrated to Canada.
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that Richard Ford, author of "Independence Day" – the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award – will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Aug. 31.
In 2015, with the purchase of the Shakespeare & Co. name in the U.S. and the successful acquisition of a lease to the store's former 5,000 sq. ft. location on Lexington Ave. on New York's Upper East side, Dane Neller, cofounder and CEO of On Demand Books (the maker of the Espresso Book Machine) and a group of investors took the first steps toward creating an indie bookstore chain. While Neller and friends are still shy of the number of locations that their namesake had at its height, six stores in New York City, the group plans to surpass that number next year...
The bestselling author who accused her husband of poisoning her was jailed for direct contempt after a court hearing last month.
Kenyon was accused of calling one of her husband's attorneys a "f---ing liar" as she abruptly left the courtroom during the hearing on April 23. After returning to the courtroom minutes later, she accused one of her husband's family members of being a pedophile.
Herman Wouk, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Navy drama The Caine Mutiny, whose sweeping novels about World War II, the Holocaust and the creation of Israel made him one of the most popular writers of his generation and helped revitalize the genre of historical fiction, died May 17 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 10 days shy of his 104th birthday.
In an opinion piece in the New York Times, novelist Elena Ferrante states that power is "a story told by women. For centuries, men have colonized storytelling. That era is over.
".... In the beginning I didn't know that storytelling was a kind of power. I became aware of this only slowly, and felt an often paralyzing responsibility. I still do. Power is neither good nor bad — it depends on what we intend to do with it. The older I get, the more afraid I am of using the power of storytelling badly. My intentions in general are good, but sometimes telling a story succeeds in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way. The only consolation I have is that however badly conceived and badly written — and therefore harmful — a story may be, the harm will always be less than that caused by terrible political and economic mismanagement, with its accouterments of wars, guillotines, mass exterminations, ghettos, concentration camps and gulags..."
Faber emerged victorious at the British Book Awards 2019 on Monday evening (13th May), with Sally Rooney's Normal People scooping the coveted Book of the Year award. The book had earlier won the Fiction Book of the Year prize, while Faber stablemate Leila Slimani's Lullaby won the Debut Fiction category. The 90-year-old company also took the Independent Publisher of the Year gong in the trade section of the awards.
Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche communities for adults with learning disabilities, living alongside those without them, has died aged 90.
In August 1964, having giving up his job teaching philosophy at the University of Toronto, he bought a small, rundown house without plumbing or electricity in the village of Trosly-Breuil, north of Paris, and invited two men with learning disabilities – Raphaël Simi and Philippe Seux – to share it with him. Both had been living in an asylum and were without family.
Today L'Arche (the ark) has 150 communities, in 38 countries, supporting 3,500 people with learning disabilities.
Vanier wrote 30 books on spirituality and community, including Community and Growth (1979), Becoming Human (1998), Befriending the Stranger (2005) and Life's Great Questions (2015). In 2015 he was awarded the £1.1m Templeton prize, for making "an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension".