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Comment Archives: stories: Books: Book Reviews + Features

Re: “Don Wentworth's new collection of brief poems explores the transitoriness of life

where can one get it?

Posted by roesellen on 12/17/2014 at 7:44 PM

Re: “Karen Lillis' The Paul Simon Project, Karl Hendricks' Stan Getz Isn't Coming Back

You can also purchase "Stan Getz Isn't Coming Back" here:

Posted by Jon Solomon on 12/17/2014 at 10:13 AM

Re: “Local novelist explores an infamous shooting

Ah, those left-leaning East Enders, they sure do know how to tell a good story. I read and enjoyed this book very much.

Posted by Mary L Litman on 10/31/2014 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Jason Baldinger's new poetry collection travels the country

As a teacher, I respect and honor the intricate word webs woven by our best poets. Jason is one of these masters of the craft. Where Leonard Cohen ( one of my favorites) plays with reader's perception, Jason presents his landscapes and observations in an almost photographic sweep of images. You may have to read and re-read to gauge his emotion of the moment, but you'll be rewarded once you connect with his both weary and energetic sense of being. His travels have sharpened his vision. The daily mundane takes on some majesty here easy task. Buy this little volume, brew some coffee or tea and go on a little journey for an hour or two. It's a worthy ride.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Stash on 10/15/2014 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

Oh dear.

I do live in Venezuela. And yes, I would definitely love not living here and get all my family out of here because I know what this government is about.
Back in the 80's this was way too different from what it is now.
You should come again, live here, work here, spend the whole day in a line just to buy milk, shampoo or flour and then we could talk about how great things are. Don't you think?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paola Nava on 08/10/2014 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel


Firstly, your presence here in the US at all means that you are likely a member of the wealthy minority, so you views are not representative of a majority of Venezuelans.

I did live in Venezuela for almost two years - back in the early 1980s working for an oil-field service company. Mostly I remember it as a country with great majority of people living is extreme poverty and a small wealthy elite, and an absolutely horrible highway and urban infrastructure with only unregulated jitneys (por puestos) for public transit in Maracaibo and Caracas. It was ruled by a phony democracy of two tweedledum and tweededee parties, AD and COPEI, similar to the phony democracy we "enjoy" here in the USA.

I have heard from numerous people reporting that things in Venezuela are much better now, and most of the current problems are due to economic sabotage by wealthy business interests. The PSUV is doing nothing much different from other other social democracies like Norway have done to create the most successful egalitarian societies in the world. If the Venezuelan upper classes would participate and provide constructive criticism as needed instead of sabotaging the entire project and engaging in violence - using the contemptible Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" as their manual, Venezuelans could achieve Norway-level living standards too.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Paul D. on 08/10/2014 at 3:00 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

It is really easy to judge someone when those experiences are far away from what you have lived, but only read about someone else's life.
Venezuela is a reality that very few people get to know very well. And its not only about the hate mails, books banning or anything. It's also about the violence, the hate in every Venezuelan's heart, the way we are being controlled, all of our media is owned by the government, the way that power has destroyed a "modern" society. That's what he has tried to show in his novels, that's what you should be aware of before criticizing.

I'm from Venezuela. I'm studying Journalism and I get very sentimental with what we are living.

Thank You Israel for your novels, they caught me.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Paola Nava on 07/28/2014 at 1:14 AM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

If this seems like overposting, I generally publish when I've been assaulted, or when my privacy is ignored, or when my cats cry out in pain by some action of government. I've been assaulted thousands of times over the past decade now, I'm sure that estimate is accurate....the other day one of my cats was bleeding, hair missing from its back, and two of them actually have scabs on their back as a result of being shot with energy weaponry. According to one report this results from my publication of Ronald Reagan quotes and biographical facts, indisputable and in fact from wikipedia. The federal government of course has all the power in the world to stop it. My tooth was knocked out in increments, over a 2 year span by energy weaponry assaults, for stating and proving the crimes committed by the federal government.
Typically operating through puppets--including puppets in the judiciary--the right wing has for decades been committing crimes and trying to classify them to cover them up, a move explicitly forbidden by the Code of Federal Regulations. The right has accomplished its political objectives by presenting a fraction of the evidence to judicial officials who, having seen the pattern dozens of times before, could not help but realize that they were being presented with incomplete and inaccurate information.
With either the willfully blind approval or the willful ignorance of the judiciary the right has killed & stolen several of my pets and routinely shoots energy weaponry at me and my pets. Recent harm to animals include: two kittens from a pregnant stray i took in were killed a few months ago. The remaining two, just 3 months old, shake their head as government operatives shoot them with energy weaponry. They shot the eye out or removed the eye of a large really good natured stray at the port, hobbled another cat at the port, shooting it with energy weaponry, and for years routinely killed and left dead animals in my path.

A few years ago one of them threatened 'we'll just kill a cat every so often', in so many words. This has continued despite my calls to the police, the FBI, Congress, and my petitions in court. In the usual case, it appears that the right goes to a judicial crony for a ruling permitting them to harm animals to retaliate against me for my free speech. The federal government, the right wing in particular, interfered with my personal life and economic options for 3 decades, so their solution to my noting it is to kill animals. Makes perfect sense right? It does if you're a sociopathic criminal, criminally stupid, and hawkish. Invariably their lies are exposed and the wrongfulness of the harm is clear to everyone, though not until the animals have been maimed or killed. There is really only one solution, and that's to disempower them politically and to impeach them.
If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats' great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L --though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and more recently 9th Circuit case 11-56043.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Glen Broemer on 07/19/2014 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Venezuelan author living in exile in Pittsburgh publishes translated novel

Good grief.

The only "threats" this guy faced was some dirty letters and banning of his books in a few schools. Should Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, William Blum, or (if they were still alive) historian Howard Zinn, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Kelsey, and dozens of other authors in the US seek asylum in another country too? Because all of them received hate mail, book-bannings in schools, and even firings from universities for their writings.

And, for the record, Fidel Castro really did face hundreds of assassination attempts.

Oh, how far the Pittsburgh City Paper, and it urban bourgeois liberal readership has descended since the late 1990's when I first moved to this city.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Paul D on 07/18/2014 at 10:55 PM

Re: “With photos and oral history, a new book portrays Roberto Clemente mostly through the eyes of his family.

I have seen the book on Roberto.
My view is simply wonderful to read.
Roberto was a wonderful man I admire him and the Clemente family.

Posted by marie on 07/09/2014 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Author George Saunders discusses how his writing style is evolving.

I forgot to mention I grew up in New Kensington, out side of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Parsecsam on 12/04/2013 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Author George Saunders discusses how his writing style is evolving.

Hello George: Your comment about style caught my eye. In the past I have been in many writers groups. All have had, what I see as not creative critique, beyond, what i feel, is helpful to the writer. Like you I feel we have a style, unless we let someone change that through some all-knowing advice. I am starting a writers group for short fiction writers. I have sat through some terribly long readings that said nothing.
I love writing fiction, although I also write from my life, which has been a long series of adventures. When I tell one of my true tales, people always tell me i should write about them.(I am, but I enjoy fiction. I have many posted on my site at
I just published an illustrated children's Christmas story from a play I wrote in 1976. I would like to send you a copy. Contact me with a mailing address.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Parsecsam on 12/04/2013 at 4:50 PM

Re: “With photos and oral history, a new book portrays Roberto Clemente mostly through the eyes of his family.

I loved the photos in this book. Well done. I also love the new movie on Clemente "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories" and was amazed how the film's images of the actors captured many of the same stylistic images of the photos, particularly the love between Roberto and Vera. I think both projects were guided divinely. I bought the movie and book on Amazon and plan to order multiple copies of both for Christmas gifts to share his legacy.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Victoria Evans on 10/14/2013 at 3:13 AM
Posted by marie on 09/25/2013 at 5:04 PM

Re: “A review of Judith Robinson's orange fire

Your review is as penetrating as the depth and grandeur of Robinson's offering in " Orange Fire ".

Posted by agefsky on 08/03/2013 at 2:36 PM

Re: “A local writer offers an unsettling new short-story collection.


Posted by Cyclops on 06/12/2013 at 10:55 AM

Re: “David V. Matthews offers a strong debut short-story collection.

There is a new short story collection called Eligible Atrocities. It is full of wit and satire and worth checking out.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Eric Smith on 06/03/2013 at 12:33 PM

Re: “Dan Rooney and house historian Carol Peterson co-write a fine new history of the North Side

If the first European born settlers got there in 1803 chances are African folks were there at least that long ago.

Posted by David Hunter on 05/09/2013 at 9:25 PM

Re: “A local author's new book explores the world of squatting

This is great! Very inspiring stuff. I am glad to see that someone is addressing the housing crisis in a positive and practical manner.

Posted by Michael J Zavison II on 03/27/2013 at 1:42 PM

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