Project

Articles, Conference Papers, Essays, Lectures, Interviews & Profiles, Reviews

Goal: For a general overview, visit http://kevinabrown.com/essays/ to learn more about articles, essays, interviews and reviews Kevin Brown has published since 1980.

Kevin Brown has published short-form reviews and long-form essay-reviews of recent full-length books, especially those published by small literary and university presses.

Reviews of a single title range from 250 to 1,000 words. Essay-reviews ranging from 1,500 to 7,500 words contemplate 2 to 5 books, providing readers with a sense of the merits and focus of each title as well as putting those books in conversation with each other, their subject, and/or some aspect of contemporary writing or culture.

Each fall and spring, Kevin Brown scours publishers' catalogs and trade publications, looking to review and make accessible to a wider audience books with literary merit that might otherwise be overlooked.

Kevin Brown has contributed to dozens of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly publications, including Afterimage, American Book Review, Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, The Chattahoochee Review, The Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, eXchanges, Fiction International, Georgia Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Kansas City Star, Kirkus, Mayday, Metamorphoses, The Nation, New York Newsday, The Oakland Tribune, Ozone Park, Pustlebume, The Threepenny Review, London Times Literary Supplement, Two Lines, Washington Post Bookworld, among others.

Date: 28 December 1979 - 28 December 2020

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Project log

Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
An essay-review of: (1) «Brother Robert: Growing Up with Robert Johnson» by Annye C. Anderson with Preston Lauterbach, with a foreword by Elijah Wald; (2) «Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson» by Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow; (3) «Music: A Subversive History» by by Ted Gioia; and (4) «Looking to Get Lost: Adventures in Music and Writing» by Peter Guralnick.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
Georgia State University journal Fall 2020 / Winter 2021 issue; an essay-review of: (1) Kevin Young's anthology «African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song»; and (2) «Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown».
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 3 research items
Sacred Hunger is a historical novel by Barry Unsworth first published in 1992. It shared the Booker Prize that year with Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient. The story is set in the mid 18th century and centres on the Liverpool Merchant, a slave ship employed in the triangular trade, a central trade route in the Atlantic slave trade. The two main characters are cousins Erasmus Kemp, son of a wealthy merchant from Lancashire and Matthew Paris, a physician and scientist who goes on the voyage. The novel's central theme is greed, with the subject of slavery being a primary medium for exploring the issue. The story line has a very extensive cast of characters, some featuring in only one scene, others continually developed throughout the story, but most described in intricate detail. The narrative interweaves elements of appalling cruelty and horror with extended comedic interludes, and employs frequent period expressions. A sequel, The Quality of Mercy, was published in 2011; it was Unsworth's last book.
The unknown story of African-American battalions, focusing on the heroic actions of the 761st, which spearheaded General Patton's third Army and helped liberate concentration camps. This powerful film vividly records the experiences of the soldiers, who were utterly unprepared for the atrocities they witnessed, as well as the astonishment of the camp inmates - some of whom had never seen a black person before. LIBERATORS bears witness to the courage of Holocaust survivors and the heroism of men who were forced to fight on two fronts - battling discrimination at home as they fought for their country overseas.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
The definitive collection of literary essays by The New Yorker’s award-winning longtime book critic. Ever since the publication of his first essay collection, The Broken Estate, in 1999, James Wood has been widely regarded as a leading literary critic of the English-speaking world. His essays on canonical writers (Gustav Flaubert, Herman Melville), recent legends (Don DeLillo, Marilynne Robinson) and significant contemporaries (Zadie Smith, Elena Ferrante) have established a standard for informed and incisive appreciation, composed in a distinctive literary style all their own. Together, Wood’s essays, and his bestselling How Fiction Works, share an abiding preoccupation with how fiction tells its own truths, and with the vocation of the writer in a world haunted by the absence of God. In Serious Noticing, Wood collects his best essays from two decades of his career, supplementing earlier work with autobiographical reflections from his book The Nearest Thing to Life and recent essays from The New Yorker on young writers of extraordinary promise. The result is an essential guide to literature in the new millennium.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 8 research items
From The Oakland Tribune, c. 1984; To Interested Readers: I received the following message pursuant to my failed attempt at locating this review in the online Oakland Tribune archives. / I welcome any assistance researchers may offer to locate this piece. / That era of the Oakland Tribune [1980-1985] is only available on microfilm and is not indexed. So, without knowing exact dates these articles will be very hard to locate. / If your local library does Interlibrary Loan, you could request the microfilm of the Oakland Tribune for that time period from the California State Library through your local library's Interlibrary Loan program. / Best Regards, / Reference Staff / Oakland Public Library
Virginia Woolf was fifty-four on January 25, 1936, some three weeks after this final volume of her diary opens. Its last page was written four days before she drowned herself on March 28, 1941. Edited by Anne Olivier Bell, assisted by Andrew McNeillie; Index; maps. RELATED CATEGORIES Biography & Memoir Publisher: Harcourt Brace Format: Paperback ISBN-13/EAN: 9780156260404 ISBN-10: 0156260409 Pages: 424 Price: $29.95 Publication Date: 09/30/1985
Samuel Pepys is as much a paragon of literature as Chaucer and Shakespeare. His Diary is one of the principal sources for many aspects of the history of its period. In spite of its significance, all previous editions were inadequately edited and suffered from a number of omissions—until Robert Latham and William Matthews went back to the 300-year-old original manuscript and deciphered each passage and phrase, no matter how obscure or indiscreet. The Diary deals with some of the most dramatic events in English history. Pepys witnessed the London Fire, the Great Plague, the Restoration of Charles II, and the Dutch Wars. He was a patron of the arts, having himself composed many delightful songs and participated in the artistic life of London. His flair for gossip and detail reveals a portrait of the times that rivals the most swashbuckling and romantic historical novels. In none of the earlier versions was there a reliable, full text, with commentary and notation with any claim to completeness. This edition, first published in 1970, is the first in which the entire diary is printed with systematic comment. This is the only complete edition available; it is as close to Pepys’s original as possible.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 2 research items
«The Romare Bearden Reader» is an anthology of writings by and about the artist by authors like Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Albert Murray, Calvin Tomkins, John Edgar Wideman, August Wilson and a dozen others. «The Romare Bearden Reader» was edited by Columbia University professor Robert G. O'Meally. "Conjure Women" runs to 5,474 words.
Spring-Summer 2020; "Black America: The State of the Culture." Contributors: Mark Edmundson; David Herman; Margo Jefferson; Jeffrey Meyers; David Mikics; Orlando Patterson; Darryl Pinckney; John McWhorter, et al.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 2 research items
Japanese by Spring is a 1993 novel by American author Ishmael Reed. It is a campus novel and satire of American university culture, particularly the culture wars. It was reviewed in several major national newspapers and magazines, and its themes of multiculturalism and multilingualism have been the subject of academic analysis.
Join narrative non-fiction author Kevin Brown for an intimate discussion of one of the most influential creative arts movements in 20th century US history. Beginning during America’s entry into World War I and ending during the Great Depression, the Harlem Renaissance embraced literary, musical, performing, and visual arts.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 15 research items
A Review of the 1993 Reissue Touchstone/Simon & Schuster «The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance», edited by Alain Locke, originally published in 1925.
Renaissance scholar and French National Archives Conservator-in-Chief Cloulas makes his American debut with this chronicle of two centuries in the life of the infamous Borgias dynasty.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: “You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.” Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a “post-racial” society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about. Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added an update
Since 1980, I have contributed short- and long-form pieces ranging from 250 to 5,000 words to publications such as Afterimage, American Book Review, American Visions, Apuntes (University of Toronto), Asymptote, Brooklyn Rail, Chattahoochee Review, Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, eXchanges, Fiction International, Georgia Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, K1N (University of Ottawa), Kansas City Star, Kirkus, The Legacy Project, Mayday, Metamorphoses, The Nation, New York Newsday, The Oakland Tribune, Ozone Park, Pustlebume, The Threepenny Review, London Times Literary Supplement, Two Lines, Washington Post Bookworld, among others.
 
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 2006 212 pp./$50.00 (hb) In November 2006, honoring its 1910–17 revolution, Mexico was the subject of portraits painted by two artists, working in very different media, whose political differences are as intriguing as their aesthetic similarities. Writer Elena Poniatowska has moved in Mexican artistic circles, writing catalog essays for photographers like Mariana Yampolsky and Juan Rulfo. Photographer Graciela Iturbide is herself a very “literary” artist as much influenced by writers as by other photographers.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
Spanish- and Portuguese-language literary translator Gregory Rabassa published nearly 50 book-length translations of Nobel laureates such as Gabriel García Márquez («100 Years of Solitude»). For those of us lucky enough to have studied with him at Columbia University or Queens College (City University of New York) the following is a reminder of what it was like listening to Rabassa lecture, as he digressed in a gravel baritone from philosophical musings on Don Quixote to slightly off-color puns, to the niceties of literary translation for six months. Translator Kevin Brown's interview with Gregory Rabassa appeared in the December 2006 issue (Vol. 7 No. 2) of the University of Delaware's Review of Latin American Studies. His translation of Mexican author Efraín Bartolomé's «Ocosingo War Diary: Voices from Chiapas» was published by Calypso Editions in 2014.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a research item
Taken together, «I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100», along with Mary Schmidt-Campbell’s «An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden», are sure to enrich generalists’ understanding of twentieth-century African American art history.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 2 research items
2019 will mark fifty years since publication of «El apando», the 10,000-word story Mexican novelist José Revueltas wrote in six weeks at El Palacio de Lecumberri penitentiary. The Hopkinson-Hughes translation assumes its rightful place alongside Malcolm Braly’s «On the Yard», Dostoevsky’s «House of the Dead», Genet’s «Our Lady of the Flowers» and Solzhenitsyn’s «One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich».
Latin American literature is world renowned for its richness in a variety of genres–poetry, the essay, the short story and, of course, the novel. Spanish-language literature in diary form seems less well known. Ocosingo War Diary is the first-ever English translation of one well-known writer’s twelve-day ordeal, which took place in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, near Guatemala. Efraín Bartolomé gives an eyewitness account of the New Year’s Eve massacre of 1994. Published to critical acclaim in Spanish in 1995, Ocosingo is part of a now classic tradition of testimonial literature in the vein of Elena Poniatowska’s Massacre in Mexico (1971). Part pastoral elegy, part eyewitness reportage, Bartolomé’s artful war diary is as much a prose poem as it is a memoir.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added 2 research items
If the legacy of Du Bois's long life was unclear when he died in 1963, what can it all mean now? What possessed him to renounce the widely coveted citizenship for which those gathered there that day--inspired in part by his example--were marching? What can a scholarly biography of the patron saint of African-American intellectuals--written by tenured professor David Leveing Lewis for a prestigious publishing house, impatiently awaited by specialists and educated generalists alike--what can all this mean to 101 million eligible nonvoters "entirely ignorant of my work and quite indifferent to it," as Du Bois said in his time, much less to 30 million African-Americans beyond the Talented Tenth and those few old-timers in Harlem who remember Du Bois as being, mostly, a remarkably crotchety old man?
Calypso Editions is proud to announce the publication of its 11th title, Efraín Bartolomé’s Ocosingo War Diary: Voices from Chiapas, translated from the Spanish by Kevin Brown. Latin American literature is world renowned for its richness in a variety of genres – the essay, poetry, the short story and, of course, the novel. Spanish-language literature in diary form seems far less well known. Ocosingo War Diary is the first-ever English translation of one well-known writer’s 12-day ordeal, which took place in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, near Guatemala. Efraín Bartolomé gives an eye-witness account of the 1994 New Year’s massacre by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Published to critical acclaim in Spanish in 1995, Ocosingo is part of a now classic tradition of testimonial literature in the vein of Elena Poniatowska’s Massacre in Mexico (1971). Part pastoral elegy, part eye-witness reportage, Bartolomé’s artful war diary is as much a prose poem as it is a memoir. “In Ocosingo War Diary: Voices from Chiapas,” says Thalia Pandiri, Professor of Classics & Comparative Literature at Smith College, “vibrantly immediate idioms and rhythms come alive. Kevin Brown’s translation bridges the fluid border between prose-poem and prose narrative.” Mexican writer Ricardo Enoch Cancino Casahonda wrote, “destiny saw to it that the right narrator was in the right place at the right time.” Ocosingo provides English-speaking readers with a much needed introduction to a voice and work unique in Latin American literature. Q: What was the purpose behind translating this particular book? A: In 2006, I began corresponding with Mexican poet Efraín Bartolomé through PEN American Center. I was in my final undergraduate year in New York, and I’d been studying with Gregory Rabassa, translator of 100 Years of Solitude and many other works by Latin American and peninsular Nobel laureates. I’d begun publishing short translations in eXchanges and other literary magazines, but hadn’t had the opportunity to work on a book-length project. So, Bartolomé agreed to let me translate first book of prose, Ocosingo. Translating a short book one short chapter at a time and then serially publishing those excerpts in literary publications makes the project less daunting that it might otherwise be but also presents challenges. One challenge was Bartolomé’s vivid but not at all ‘picturesque’ description of a modern-day Maya Indian dressed in traditional clothing. Another challenge was how best to convey the emotional relief that seeing food trucks had on a besieged and famished city. ‘Replenishments are on the way’ is a serviceable option, but just doesn’t have the joyous leap of ‘volverán los víveres.’ The ultimate challenge every translator faces is to achieve high fidelity with low distortion. With any work, literary or technical, too literal a translation does as much disservice to the original as does taking too many liberties. I searched for equivalents that are faithful enough to pass peer review yet felicitous enough to capture some of the beauty of the original. The echo of A Portrait of the Artists as a Young Man in my version of Bartolomé’s prologue is both intentional and, I hope, felicitous. ‘Do the first draft,’ one of Rabassa’s colleagues used to tell students, ‘and then throw away the dictionary. Trust your meaning, and try to make it sing.’ On this project, length is not the difficulty. Part pastoral elegy, part eye-witness reportage, Bartolomé’s artful war diary is as much a prose poem as it is a memoir of the 1994 New Year’s massacre. Deceptively simple prose can be very hard to write, and Efraín Bartolomé’s Spanish proved more difficult to translate than I originally anticipated. His lines -- double- and quadruple-spaced upon the page as if engulfed in a pervasive void of white -- mimic the tense expectancy of nights and days punctuated by not-so-distant gun fire. At their best, they are as sonorous as recited poetry. A deceptively short work, Ocosingo has both the sparseness and density of a chapbook. Efraín Bartolomé, born 1950 in Ocosingo, State of Chiapas, Mexico, is an internationally recognized poet and prize-winning environmental activist. His verses have been collected in the following volumes: Agua lustral (Holy Water: Poems, 1982-1987); Oficio: arder (Poet Afire: Poems, 1982-1997); and El ser que somos (Being Who We Are). Winner: Mexico City Prize; Aguascalientes National Poetry Award (1984); Carlos Pellicer Prize for published work (1992); Gilberto Owen National Literary Prize (1993); Jaime Sabines International Poetry Prize (1996). The Mexican government awarded him the National Forest and Wildlife Merit Prize. In 1998 he received the Chiapas Arts Prize. In 2001 he received the International Latino Arts Award in the United States. He is a member of the National Council of Creative Artists. His poems have been translated into English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Arabic, Galician, Nahuatl, Peninsular Mayan and Esperanto. He works as a psychotherapist in Mexico City. Ocosingo was his first published book-length work in prose. Kevin Brown, born 1960 in Kansas City, Missouri, is a biographer, essayist and translator. He is author of the biographies Romare Bearden: Artist (1994) and Malcolm X: His Life and Legacy (1995). He was a contributing editor to The New York Public Library African-American Desk Reference (2000). Brown’s articles, essays, interviews, reviews and translations from Spanish into English have appeared in Afterimage, Apuntes, Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, eXchanges, Hayden’s Ferry Review, K1N, The Kansas City Star, Kirkus, the London Times Literary Supplement, Mayday, Metamorphoses, The Nation, Ozone Park, Review of Latin American Studies, the Threepenny Review, Two Lines and the Washington Post Bookworld. He is at work on his first collection of essays.
Kevin Anthony Brown
added a project goal
For a general overview, visit http://kevinabrown.com/essays/ to learn more about articles, essays, interviews and reviews Kevin Brown has published since 1980.
Kevin Brown has published short-form reviews and long-form essay-reviews of recent full-length books, especially those published by small literary and university presses.
Reviews of a single title range from 250 to 1,000 words. Essay-reviews ranging from 1,500 to 7,500 words contemplate 2 to 5 books, providing readers with a sense of the merits and focus of each title as well as putting those books in conversation with each other, their subject, and/or some aspect of contemporary writing or culture.
Each fall and spring, Kevin Brown scours publishers' catalogs and trade publications, looking to review and make accessible to a wider audience books with literary merit that might otherwise be overlooked.
Kevin Brown has contributed to dozens of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly publications, including Afterimage, American Book Review, Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, The Chattahoochee Review, The Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, eXchanges, Fiction International, Georgia Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Kansas City Star, Kirkus, Mayday, Metamorphoses, The Nation, New York Newsday, The Oakland Tribune, Ozone Park, Pustlebume, The Threepenny Review, London Times Literary Supplement, Two Lines, Washington Post Bookworld, among others.