Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dear Great Book Guru, I was at a wonderful exhibit at Adelphi University where world renowned artist and Sea Cliff resident Marcia Widenor was showing some of her works. One was titled Tsunami- a beautiful filmy creation of muted muti-colored waves that filled a huge room. A friend attending the event with me mentioned a recent novel she had just read that was "a political tsunami" set in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Are you familiar with this book? Former but Ever Loyal Brooklynite

Dear Brooklynite , Marcia's show " Patterns and Shadows" is amazing; I hope to go again before it closes on March 24. The book your friend referred to is THE FOURTH ASSASSIN by Matt B. Rees. This was a fascinating novel whose plot involves a middle-aged Palestinian schoolmaster who has been asked to speak at the United Nations. His first stop in New York is a visit to Brooklyn to see his 24 year-old son who is living and working there with two friends from his home in Bethlehem. To the father's horror, he finds the apartment ransacked and a headless corpse lying in his son's bed. The political and criminal intrigues that surround this homicide are complex to say the least. We learn about Sunni and Shiite animosities that span centuries but are very much alive today and strongly impact this Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge known as Little Palestine. The colorful, detailed descriptions of food, dress, custom, and religious practices make this novel a valuable learning tool in addition to being a fast-paced adventure tale. This book is available at the Sea Cliff Library. On another note, Chris Hedges, the author of a book I mentioned in an earlier column- THE EMPIRE OF ILLUSION: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, is speaking Wednesday, March 17 at 7:30 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset.

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