In the Oneness of Time: The Education of a Diviner

Review by Joey Madia

It is said that, when you are “following your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell would say, or walking the Good Red Road of Native American spirituality, the teachings you most need in the moment will find you. Six and a half years ago, this maxim was made manifest in a book co-authored by William Douglas Horden titled The Toltec I-Ching (also from Larson Publications). When it arrived in the mail with a request for review, I was in the midst of opening an arts education center that would house the social justice theatre company of which I am the founding artistic director. As with any big endeavor, there were endless meetings with political and community leaders, business groups, educators, potential donors, and prospective teachers and it seemed that everyone had a different idea of what the arts education center should be, including its interior design, programmatic content, and even hours of operation.

Looking for answers deep within, in order to honor (and protect) the mission of the theatre company and our other arts programs, I found The Toltec I-Ching to be an invaluable aid.

A great deal has happened with my arts mission since that time, including closing the center and leaving the state where it was founded, and changing the name of the theatre company, all in part to honor the messages gleaned from The Toltec I-Ching. In recent months, I have begun to lay the foundations in our current home to create new material for the company, hire administrative staff and passionate creatives, and set up classes and auditions. Not long after the process was begun, I received for review Horden’s newest book, In the Oneness of Time. It has proven to be just the guide I needed to find clarity and strength for this new journey. Continue reading

The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story

‘Yes, that’s right. We met in the middle. Didn’t we?’

Review by Grady Harp

Yarrott relates The Bone Bridge – A Brother’s Story, a compelling true story with the flair of a fine writer. We learn of his large Tennessee family – 2 older brothers and a sister (Yarrott is the youngest), a mother who was crippled since age 16 but went on to be a nurse and then the wife of a doctor – Yarrott’s father and mother. Yarrott focuses on his relationship with Charley, 3 years his senior, and if ever there were exact opposites in brothers, these two were at the far ends of the polar spectrum. They were enemies in so much as Charley made Yarrott’s life miserable.

But all this changed when Charley gradually came down with aplastic anemia (a disease in which there are no platelets, the necessary factor for blood clotting). After a long build up of Charley being undiagnosed but ill, the day came when the diagnosis was discovered and Charley’s physician treated him with platelet packs – but that `cure’ was unreliable due to the often mismatched transfusions. Continue reading

Phoning Home

‘When one includes the possibility of posthumous influence, no human being ever reaches his or her half-life.’

Review by Grady Harp

Once reading one of the Appel novels/books an addiction occurs. That Jacob M. Appel is such an extraordinarily fine writer, certainly among the top rung of serious authors in America at present, seems foremost in a resume of his achievements – this coming of course from an admitted devotee of his books such as THE BIOLOGY OF LUCK and SCOUTING FOR THE REAPER – until the extent of his life’s work to date is surveyed. Thus the following from a previous review written in response to the mentioned novels: Continue reading

A Schizophrenic Will

Review by Grady Harp

‘The mixture of fire and ice would color the rest of my life’

William Jiang’s extraordinary chronicle of his life is at once arresting, horrifying, challenging and inspiring. Obviously Will Jiang is a brilliant young handsome man born prematurely to an Anglo-Saxon mother and an absentee Russian Jewish father and later adopted by his Chinese stepfather Yu Jiang: the inordinately touching memories of and tributes from his brothers Leaf, Chung, and Justice as well as comments introduced in his preface form an impressive list of people attest to the fact that this is a unique young man. Continue reading

Reaching: A Memoir

‘Reach for the stars, but if you want success, you have to reach for the moon.’

Review by Grady Harp

Grace Peterson has achieved more stature as a writer in this short memoir REACHING that many other authors far more experienced in the field of writing. In short, this is an astonishingly well-sculpted book that reveals Peterson to be a wordsmith on a par with the finest. This is not meant to negate the importance of the message of the book: this is one lf the most sincerely penetrating memoirs of a child’s journey through a jungle of problems to reach adulthood and become a symbol of the growth that is possible even in the most impossible of histories. In art this is called Form Follows Function, and a finer compliment for a book, especially a memoir, could not be made. Continue reading