Review of Gabrielle Zevin’s “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry”

91hvgvo-tlNo avid reader can resist a charming cast of characters who are cleverly named after classic novels. Gabrielle Zevin’s New York Times Bestseller, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, is a light and humorous novel that pulls at the readers’ heartstrings, especially those of us who are involved in the writing, publishing, and bookselling industries. The novel creates connections and raises interesting questions that avid readers would thoroughly enjoy. For example, the main character, A.J. Fikry, asks his date the question, “In what restaurant based on a novel would you have preferred to dine?” after taking her to a Moby Dick themed restaurant. I personally would enjoy eating at a restaurant modeled after Gatsby’s residence, as much as Fikry would have enjoyed a Narnia-based restaurant that served Turkish delight. Nevertheless, Zevin’s novel allows readers to imagine, laugh, and feel. Continue reading

The Art of Spoken Word Poetry

“Love Poem Medley” – Rudy Francisco

Poetry is a classic art form dating back to the Vedas and the ancient Greek epic poem, the “Odyssey.” The beauty of poetry stems from the diversity of form, style, and voice. Like classic literature, every poem is uniquely written to express the human experience, but spoken word poetry uses language in such a different manner to depict imagery and describe emotion that it created its own new culture. Continue reading

Interview with Activist Aundrey Jones

IMG_3329Considering his freelance writing, activism, hunger for knowledge, and dedicated community work, Aundrey Jones is a multifaceted and ambitious individual. From his hometown in Palmdale, California, he went on to receive his B.A. in African-American Studies in 2014 at the University of California, Riverside, and is currently a Ph.D student in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Although young in age, his mindset and beliefs are sophisticated, firmly grounded, and strongly supported with his constant research in American policing institutions and their relation to Black culture. Half African-American and half Filipino, Aundrey has always taken great interest in ethnic studies and discusses how classic and contemporary literature factors into the realities in America.

Q: When were you inspired to get involved with Ethnic Studies? Did your own ethnic background inspire your studies? Continue reading

“Bread and Butter!” – SDSU’s take on a Classic Adventure

The Don Powell Theatre has been the place for many adaptations to classic stories, and “ALICE: Curiouser and Curiouser!” is another great addition to the list of successes for San Diego State University’s school of theatre, television, and film. The story of Alice will always be considered a childhood favorite. Kids will continue to dress up in Alice’s classic tea-party dress for Halloween, the White Rabbit will forever symbolize an anxiety for tardiness, and the Queen of Hearts will always be one of the most iconically ruthless villains. Continue reading

Review of Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress”

The Inner Darkness in Everyone

22642472Margaret Atwood is known for her extensive list of literary works, including poems, small publication pieces, and classic novels. Her tales, as she likes to call them, focus on relatable feelings that may not be presented in the most realistic situations, but still cause her readers to stir with emotion. I remember reading The Handmaid’s Tale in high school and even then, I was struck by the way Atwood told the story of woman’s struggle with a lack of freedom. Oryx and Crake is also known to be a great dystopian novel that disturbed readers emotionally, but also piqued interests that are usually kept a secret. So, it was safe to say that I expected a strong, emotional resonance with Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. Continue reading