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Anisfield-Wolf Community Blog

Andrew Solomon On The Film Adaptation of “Far From The Tree”:

Still from a scene of the new documentary, "Far From the Tree"Days ahead of the theatrical debut of the documentary film adapted from his book, Far From the Tree, author Andrew Solomon reflected on the creative and emotional differences between the mediums of film and text. "My Stories Become Someone Else's: Adapting a Book into Film" is a fascinating essay.   Solomon put a decade into researching and writing his magisterial book, centered in interviewing more than 300 families. It won the nonfiction Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2013... Read More →

In New Harvey Milk Biography, A Portrait Of A Man Gone Too Soon

In 1970, Harvey Milk, a boisterous, restless New Yorker, turned 40 without a sense of having accomplished much. But in the handful of years that remained to him, Milk moved to San Francisco and remade American politics and identity. Posthumously, his grin landed on a postage stamp, and the U.S. Navy, in which he served, is scheduled in 2021 to christen a logistics ship after him. Even before these two honors, Barack Obama in 2009 awarded Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying, with a smile, “His name was Harvey Milk, and he was here... Read More →

Getting Closer To A New Home For Cleveland’s Anisfield-Wolf Book Collection

Design concept courtesy of SO-IL + Kurtz Works by Langston Hughes, Zadie Smith and Toni Morrison will soon have a new place to call home. All three authors have books housed in the Anisfield-Wolf collection at the downtown branch of the Cleveland Public Library, tucked away in the recesses of the second-floor special collections room. Now the collection, the only complete assemblage of all 83 years of Anisfield-Wolf-winning books, will be a showpiece of the new $10 million Martin Luther King Jr branch in University Circle. The canon contains... Read More →

Kevin Powers Delivers A Gritty, Poetic Novel With “A Shout In The Ruins”

A Shout in the Ruins has a ring to it – both as a book and as a title that a poet would craft. Novelist Kevin Powers spent six years writing his lyrical and violent story set in “the ruins” of Richmond, Virginia, the place where he was born and raised. The author anchors one narrative strand in the ruins of the Civil War; the second unspools 90 years later, during the ruins of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike construction that knocked apart the old Jackson Ward neighborhood of the city. Readers can glimpse a thematic... Read More →

Isabel Allende’s “The House of The Spirits” On Its Way To Hulu

Add Isabel Allende's groundbreaking first novel, "The House of the Spirits," to the golden age of television adaptations. Streaming giant Hulu has acquired the classic 1982 story, which has been translated into more than 35 languages. Allende began it at a low moment in her life when she was 40 years old and living in Venezuela.  This consummate Chilean story follows the Trueba family over four generations and catapulted its author to fame. Deeply personal, “The House of the Spirits” began as Allende’s farewell letter to her... Read More →

Natasha Trethewey Brings Passion And Pain To Poetry Reading At Kent State University

Natasha Trethewey signs books after her poetry reading at Kent State University, April 2018 Former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey began her talk at Kent State University by claiming kinship with the audience. “I always feel slightly at home in Ohio,” she said. “It is the state that allowed my parents to get a marriage license in 1965, allowed me to be born legit in this country, even as our laws still rendered me persona non grata.” The newborn Trethewey arrived a year later in Gulfport, Mississippi, where her parents... Read More →

Kevin Young Strolls Through Black History In New Poetry Collection, “Brown”

James Brown. John Brown’s raid. Michael Brown. Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. These subjects braid through Kevin Young’s new book, Brown, as he creates poems about black culture and boyhood, dividing his collection into “Home Recordings” and “Field Recordings.” It publishes this week. “It’s a book that’s been brewing for a while,” Young told David Canfield of Entertainment Weekly. “The title poem is one I’ve been trying to write for some time, about growing up in Topeka, Kansas, and going to the church... Read More →

New Toni Morrison Documentary, “The Foreigner’s Home,” Explores The Meaning Of Belonging

Toni Morrison poses in front of the Louvre in Paris, November 2006. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images At 87, Toni Morrison is a direct woman. The Nobel laureate in literature has long contemplated her legacy, and the larger meaning of art, society and belonging. A moving piece of evidence for this unfurls in The Foreigner’s Home, a feature-length film, making its regional debut at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 35 miles east of Morrison’s childhood town of Lorain, Ohio. The film screens at 2 p.m. Saturday. The documentary captures the... Read More →

Mary Morris Is Back With Latest Novel, “Gateway to the Moon”

With Gateway to the Moon, writer Mary Morris casts a new spell drawing water from some of her favorite wells. Her new novel is publishing today. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner for The Jazz Palace returns to Jewish history, this time spinning a family story across centuries. She puts it in motion in 1492, the year Spain expelled its Muslim and Jewish citizens and Christopher Columbus journeyed to the New World. In Gateway to the Moon, Morris places on that voyage an interpreter she calls Luis de Torres, a Jew who has disguised... Read More →

Interview With Directors Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip On Their New Film, “Dawnland”

Dawnland co-directors Ben Pender-Cudlip (left) and Adam Mazo Boston-based filmmaker Adam Mazo is quick to admit that he knew little about Native populations growing up in Minnesota. He’s committed to changing that for future generations with “Dawnland,” the 90-minute documentary premiering this month at the Cleveland International Film Festival. The film centers on the decades of government policy that forced Native children from their families and into adoptive homes, foster care and boarding schools. The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards... Read More →
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