Entrapment had made the day’s events, and my own life, seem like legitimate literary subjects. The characters in its pages were called Frank Mears, and Blackie Cavanaugh, and Little Lester, but when I read about them I felt I was reading about old friends. They were the kids I had played with in the abandoned lot behind my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a child; men I knocked around with on street corners, gyms, and bars; my old friend Bones, an alcoholic who looked after me when I became a bicycle messenger at seventeen, and then hung himself from a pipe running along the ceiling of his basement apartment.
Harriet Hyman Alonso, author of Martha and the Slave Catchers, a book for middle school readers, speaks with Catherine A. Franklin an education professor who created the Martha and the Slave Catchers curriculum guide. They discuss some of the aspects of Martha and the Slave Catchers that relate to history and teaching, William Llyod Garrison's unruly but ethical children, and some questions for today, including: "Who are the modern abolitionists?" and "How do we resist unfair laws?"
If the Cultural Purity Police (CPP) had their way, they would brand British curry as theft, but every cuisine consists of an infinite number of borrowings and travels, sometimes stretching back millennia. . . . The idea of cultural purity now determines what representations we might safely consume without guilt. . . . [T]he loss is ours, doomed as we are to sterile images that question and probe nothing, offering only vast oceans of purity . . . .
A thoughtful piece called "Think Before You Link" appeared in Publishers Weekly last week, urging web outlets promoting books not to link to Amazon. It's a great read, and it's definitely something we're conscious of here at Seven Stories. And while the publishing world has become an increasingly complicated landscape, with some publishers selling direct from their own sites, as we do, there's nothing complicated about the fact that we love independent bookstores, and know that they're a vital part of what makes the literary community great. So here's to Powell's, IndieBound, McNally Jackson, Westsider Books, Argosy, Mercer Street, Brazos Bookstore, and the countless other places you can buy books online or in person that aren't soul-crushing corporate monopolies. We salute you, we link to you, and we thank you for continuing to do what you do.