April 1, 2016
We sent some interview questions to Barbara Williams, whose new memoir of life in the logging communities of Western Canada, The Hope in Leaving, we recently published to early acclaim. Besides an author, Williams is a successful actress and accomplished musician. Spend a minute here — this is a terrific read.
Why did you decide to write The Hope in Leaving now, so many years after the events it describes took place?
It took many years and much distance to achieve a perspective on those events, to be able to distill them into art. I’ve always been journaling but acting was my primary creative focus. After my son was born I wanted to be present for his childhood. Other actresses can manage raising kids and working on location but I opted to stay close to home and write. My book was released on the eve of my son’s 16th birthday.
March 24, 2016
In an opinion piece published yesterday by the New York Times under the title “What Obama Should Know About Macri’s Argentina,” scholar Ernesto Semán and legal expert Gastón Chiller (of the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Buenos Aires) give a forceful account of the ways in which newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s administration recalls some of the most horrid periods in the country’s history. They begin with the case of activist Milagro Sala, arrested two months ago for organizing a protest of cooperative workers in the interior of the country, and continue to list other traces of repression — sometimes verging on fascism — in Macri’s excessive use of executive orders, his neglect of human rights abuses, and his decisions to prioritize free trade over domestic growth, profit over people. This account of a repression that comes about gradually and insidiously is all too reminiscent of an open letter signed thirty-nine years ago today by Argentine citizen, writer, and activist Rodolfo Walsh, just a day before he was gunned down in the street and disappeared by henchmen of the de facto regime, his body never found.
February 18, 2016
Is it hot in here, or are we just feelin’ the Bern?!
In an election when Senator Bernie Sanders is shaking everything up, speaking for millions of Americans who thought they had no voice in electoral politics, Bernie — the new graphic biography by Ted Rall — is shaking things up, too, blasting onto the New York Times Bestseller List, attracting interest and praise, and generally making waves.
It’s easy to see why. Bypassing horse-race commentary and bloviation about the status quo, Bernie instead cuts incisively and wittily to the man behind the headlines. Who is the socialist rabble-rouser that has lodged such an unexpectedly successful challenge to the long-awaited coronation of Hillary Clinton? The son of an immigrant raised in Brooklyn, New York, Bernie seems to represent the consummate political outsider — laughed off initially, but now a serious contender for the presidency whom the polls now show in a dead heat with his rival.
January 11, 2016
Some big news this morning from the American Library Association!
ADAM & THOMAS is a Batchelder Honor Book!
Congratulations to author Aharon Appelfeld, illustrator Philippe Dumas, and translator Jeffrey M. Green!
The Batchelder award honors outstanding children’s books translated from foreign languages and subsequent published in the United States.
SEX IS A FUNNY WORD is a Stonewall Honor Book!
Congratulations to authors Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth!
The Stonewall Award is given to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
You can find more information about the ALA’s awards here.
January 6, 2016
Seven Stories Press joins with New York City and the world in mourning our friend and author Liz Swados, who passed away yesterday at the age of 64. Liz was a beacon of New York’s downtown culture, an artist of rare generosity with a genius for making us feel the connections between hardship and resilience, beauty and truth, one person and another.
Born in Buffalo, New York in 1951, Liz began making a name for herself in the New York theater before she had even finished her undergraduate studies at Bennington College. Greater exposure came in 1978, with the smash success of Runaways, a theater piece Liz wrote and directed. It was based on conversations she’d had with teenage runaways — some of whom went on to star in the show — and its success exceeded all expectations: after a successful run at New York’s Public Theater, it was nominated for five Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and an Obie (which, for her direction, Liz won).
November 25, 2015
No reason to mince words: Thanksgiving is a weird holiday, one that celebrates a deplorable, genocidal history, yet is also, for many of us, a treasured chance to spend some down-time with those we love, and even, for some, an opportunity to check in and contemplate the actual gratitude for what we have, coexisting with the anger over the state of things that drives us to make change. In short, like much of American life, it’s complicated.
In the interest of fostering a critical approach to that kind of complexity, and, as they say, in the spirit of the season, we wanted to share this excerpt from the classic Voices of People’s History of the United States, beginning with an explanatory note by authors Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove:
On the three hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing on Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts officials planned a celebration, and asked Wamsutta (Frank B.) James to deliver a speech.
November 19, 2015Let’s not mince words: it’s been a ghastly week. Catastrophic violence in Beirut and Paris, taking place against the backdrop of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis, Syria’s ever-worsening civil war, and the Islamic State’s brutal expansion across Iraq, Syria, and beyond, have reminded us all just how precarious matters are in the Middle East.These same events have also left many of us confused. ISIS, Islamic State, or Daesh? With so many enemies, does the US have any allies in the region? What are the goals of the Western powers’ airstrikes? And, perhaps most crucially of all, how did we get to this point? What is the history that has led us here?Kirk J. Beattie, the author of Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East, and Loretta Napoleoni the author of many books including The Islamist Phoenix: The Islamic State and the Redrawing of the Middle East, offer unparalleled insights into what’s happening in the middle east and radiating across the world.
November 17, 2015
Last week, long-time Middle East-watcher and author of Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East Kirk J. Beattie sat down with the legendary Larry King to talk Israel, Palestine, Washington, and more. What ensued was an edifying conversation that has only grown more timely in the few days since it took place, worth watching in its entirety:
October 29, 2015
America’s corporate media tends to take a fairly — ahem – sedate attitude towards actual news, especially when there’s some good political horse racing to keep the ratings up. But today, there is some actual news that Americans really ought to care about: the European Parliament has officially declared Edward Snowden an “international human rights defender,” calling on all EU member states to drop any criminal charges against the whistle-blower and guarantee him freedom from extradition to the US, where he still faces charges.
The resolution, which followed what EU Civil Liberties Committee chair Claude Moraes described as the Parliament’s “most comprehensive investigation completed to date,” marks a tremendous moment of international support for Snowden.
The announcement shouldn’t have come as too much of a shock to readers of Snowden, the acclaimed recent graphic biography by Ted Rall, which noted that European governments had taken serious notice of Snowden’s revelations:
October 9, 2015
“Half the world’s wealth owned by its richest 1%”
“Government Spying ‘Chills’ Writers’ Freedom of Expression”
“Popular Resistance to Corporate Water Grabbing”
Imagine a world where these headlines dominated news reports. These stories are absolutely true, but you won’t find them on the front pages, because they threaten the interests of the powerful corporations that hold our news media in a headlock.
Enter Project Censored – an organization that, for forty years, has fought to save our democracy from “junk food news” by telling the real stories crucial for an understanding of the world we’re living in.
In what has become an annual source of information and a rallying cry for intellectual courage, Project Censored each year produces a book that includes the top 25 underreported news stories, crucial independent reportage from around the world, and sharp analysis of the news that has dominated the corporate press over the past twelve months.