Events wholly beyond our control can sometimes abruptly and profoundly interrupt our life journeys and the journeys of those we love. Several years ago, one of those events drove Don Blackwell's daughter to death's doorstep. In the midst of her suffering, however, and largely as a result of her courage, Don came to realize that such events can also serve as critical points of reflection and opportunities for growth. He also realized that if we are willing to take a step back from the heartbreak of the moment and reflect on the matters of the heart that surround those events, they can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, of those we love and of the human condition. Dear Ashley is a collection of those reflections and the intimate father/daughter letters used to convey them---shared in the hope that the unique perspective they offer will provide guidance, understanding and healing when life's challenges come knocking on your door.6:30pm
An essential read for fans of
literary biography, The Seeds of Fiction (Peter Owen, $29.95) finally and fully
illuminates a pivotal episode in Graham Greene's life and career in the kind of
detail that will sate any fans of his work, but which also provides a
fascinating glimpse into a writer's life. In 1965, Greene joined journalist Bernard Diederich in the Dominican
Republic to embark on a tour of its border with Haiti, then ruled by "Papa
Doc" Duvalier. They were accompanied by activist priest Jean-Claude Bajeux.
The famous novelist was 61 and depressed, having struggled to finish A
Burnt-Out Case, and was being plagued by religious doubt; Bajeux,
meanwhile, had been informed that his family had been "disappeared"
by Duvalier's henchmen. As this
trio traveled along the border they met a number of rebels and other characters
later fictionalized in Greene's most politically charged novel, The Comedians,
published the following year. This book tells the story of how a series of
extraordinary and often hair-raising journeys gave one of the greatest
novelists of the 20th century new inspiration in his writing.