Jill Norgren Archives
CultureWatch: Jill Norgren debuts as a SeniorWomenWeb book reviewer and begins with three engaging and beautifully written works of fiction that explore the intersection of emotion, relationship, and culture: The Gift of a Bride and The Indian Bride are murder mysteries, while Unaccustomed Earth, issued in paperback, is a set of short stories. The books are united by a shared concern for the demands, rewards, and complications of marriage and immigration, particularly on the part of individuals who once called India “home.”
CultureWatch: Weary of dinosaur and vampire books for children? The Amelia Bloomer Project selection of books is about girls and women "who have broken barriers and have fought to change their situations and their environment …real and fictional [characters who] follow their dreams and pursue their goals, challenging cultural and familial stereotypes.”
CultureWatch: Abigail & John: Portrait of a Marriage helps to regender early American history which remains overly focused on generals and male political leaders.
CultureWatch: Read My Pins. With domestic and global problems on all sides Madeline Albright's new book offers a wonderful interlude in which playfully to consider the human face of diplomacy. It complements Madam Secretary, her memoir,which similarly shows herself and politicians in all their humanity.
CultureWatch: A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America begins "Silas Deane was stranded in Paris, sick with anxiety, and nearly out of invisible ink"
CultureWatch: Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders is a sober, engaging, and thought-provoking volume exploring the decline of Pakistan’s feudal order
CultureWatch: In Center of the Universe, Nancy Bachrach offers a mordantly funny and deeply affecting recollection of her mom Lola, urban, middle-class, Jewish, and not infrequently mentally ill. Charlie Bundrum, the hero of Ava’s Man, Rick Bragg’s lyrical remembrance of his grandfather, has deep roots in a Depression-era Old South. These are perfect books to pick up in this season of celebrating mothers and fathers
CultureWatch: This Is a Soul is a moving biography of a physician that gives readers a small window through which to view international medicine.
CultureWatch: Jane Addams; Spirit in Action relates how Addams stretched her understanding of people and political forces far beyond what she knew as a sheltered child, and through the wisdom translated thought into action.
CultureWatch: Cleopatra; A Life: We must ask ourselves if Stacy Schiff has successfully peeled away two millennia of myth and propaganda or given us a new myth, a Cleopatra who fits modern, Western feminist thinking
CultureWatch: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, now in paperback, is both a cautionary tale and a call for justice. In 1951 no laws were broken when Henrietta Lacks’ cancer cells were passed on, but ethical issues were ignored by medical and science communities
CultureWatch: Reviewer Jill Norgren writes:In this season of television re-runs, devotees of Law and Order or The Good Wife would do well to turn off the tube, and sit down with Gertner’s book, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate. They might pull an all-nighter
CultureWatch: Biographer Gwinn writes in Emily Greene Balch that Balch “had been fundamental to the life and work of Jane Addams and other settlement and peace workers; she had been an influential teacher, revered friend, a respected scholar and visionary thinker
CultureWatch's Four Gift Book Suggestions That Involve Murder, Assassination, Racial Hatred and Ageism: In Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America author Gullette explores the causes and effects of a youth culture that makes growing old wrong in the eyes of many Americans. Assisted Dying, a mystery novel, provides a fast ride on the highways of Florida's Gold Coast and would make a terrific book group choice
Review, Met Opera's HD Simulcast of This Enchanted Island: This operatic pasticcio, drawing upon music composed by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau is a harvest basket of delights. Beautiful singing marks the production: DiDonato is outstanding, Domingo defies the years with his seemingly effortless excellence, and de Niese steals the first act with her impish portrayal and fine singing
Book Reviews, CultureWatch: Swerve illuminates the fascinating nooks of antiquity, as well as the Renaissance, for the neophyte. This is the sort of book that, during these winter months, will bring the pleasure endorsed by Epicurus and Lucretius. Chef Supreme: Martin Ginsburg creates a paean to good food and its ability to create community; the recipes and tributes are rich, as was his life
Book Review, Sybil Exposed: Thanks in large measure to Sybil’s psychiatrist, multiple-personality disorder became an official diagnosis, with consequences for the medical profession, insurance industry, and patients; Debbie Nathan argues persuasively that the book was the product of conspiracy and deceit