18 Booklist September 15, 2015 www.booklistreader.com
for literary fiction with its intricate plotting, in
which Criseyde’s uncle, Pandarus, is the lovers’ sophisticated, manipulative go-between,
and its psychologically rounded protagonists.
Those who’ve read Chaucer’s original may be
thunderstruck by how thoroughly Greenlaw’s
spare stanzas conjure, despite their radical expository condensation, its aching atmosphere
and emotional impact and be moved to reread
it. May Chaucerian innocents be similarly
inspired—and proceed to Shakespeare’s dramatization and Robert Henryson’s sequel, The
Testament of Cresseid. —Ray Olson
The Beauty of What Remains: Family
Lost, Family Found.
By Susan Johnson Hadler.
Sept. 2015. illus. She Writes Press, paper, $16.95
(9781631520075); e-book, $9.95 (9781631520082).
Parts of Hadler’s family tree were shrouded
in darkness. When she was only a few months
old, she lost her father at the end of WWII to a
mine explosion, an event that so shattered her
mother that she refused to talk to her children
about him, instead starting a new life and family by marrying again. Hadler’s search for her
father as an adult, a journey that took her to
the last places on earth that he walked, serves
as a prelude in this meditative memoir about
her quest to discover what happened to her
mother’s estranged sisters. What she discovers
is a legacy of loss and mental illness, with repercussions for the generations that followed.
Her years as a psychotherapist are evident in
her measured, sympathetic treatment of the
struggles faced by those in the family who used
silence to cover tragedy. Both an exploration of
loss and a celebration of discovering connections, The Beauty of What Remains is a moving
account of one woman’s efforts to make her
family whole. —Bridget Thoreson
Historical Dictionary of the British
By Kenneth J. Panton.
2015. 766p. Rowman & Littlefield, $150 (9780810878013);
e-book, $149.99 (9780810875241). 909.097.
This thoroughly documented single-volume
How the World Moves: The Odyssey
historical dictionary offers in-depth entries
about the diverse British Empire from 1497
to 2012. In addition to a wealth of alphabeti-
cal topics ranging from Tunku Abdul Rahman
(1903–’90) to the Zulu War of 1879, the author
provides a concise introduction to the British
Empire from its earliest beginnings through
its decline and legacy, along with an accurate
chronology of historical events. For example,
the 6-page entry on the American Revolution
illustrates substantial research and selection
of resources. This impressive work includes a
comprehensive 116-page bibliography of works
utilized within the text. The author has written
four additional historical dictionaries about the
United Kingdom, and the entries within this
volume expertly define the significant world
events that the British Empire encompassed.
A good choice for public and academic library
history collections. —Harrison Wick
of an American Indian Family.
By Peter Nabokov.
Sept. 2015. 608p. Viking, $32.95 (9780670024889).
“This is a story of a man who told a story.”
So begins Nabokov’s (Where the Lightning
Strikes, 2006) meticulously researched account
of the life of Edward Proctor Hunt, born Day Break
in New Mexico’s Acoma
Pueblo in 1861. Raised in a
traditional family, Day Break
joined the Katsina Society
at an early age and later was
initiated into the “mystics”
of medicine men. Against
his parents’ wishes, he enrolled at an Indian
boarding school in Albuquerque and received
a heavy dose of the Protestant work ethic. He
returned to Acoma when his father died and
was pressured to return to the “old ways.” He
married and opened his own trading post, thus
becoming a bridge between Native and white
worlds. Hunt and two sons later joined a Wild
West show touring Europe. Then Hunt spent
two months in Washington, D.C., in 1928, recounting the Acoma creation myth to scholars
from the Smithsonian. Fourteen years later, it
was printed in an “obscure government bulletin”; now it is considered a classic story of not
only Acoma creation but also of the migration
of Pueblo peoples from the Four Corners region. A new edition of Hunt’s The Origin Myth
of Acoma Pueblo, with notes by Nabokov, is
being published simultaneously with this enlightening history of Hunt and his remarkable
family. —Deborah Donovan
Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny.
By Michael Broers.
Oct. 2015. 612p. illus. Pegasus, $35 (9781605988726).
Like Andrew Roberts’ Napoleon (2014),
this profile of a much-written-about histori-
cal celebrity justifies itself by a new source, an
ongoing scholarly project to collect Napoléon’s
correspondence. Broers’ first biographical tome
(of a projected two) extends to 1805. Many
historians, Broers included, give approving
interpretation to Napoléon’s reforms, which
delivered what the French generally wanted:
an end to the Revolution’s political instability,
preservation of its main social changes, and
peace with France’s foreign enemies. How Na-
poléon achieved these goals occupies detailed
swaths of Broers’ narrative; more interest-
ing to most readers will be his description of
Bonaparte’s apprenticeships for power. In Cor-
sica, Toulon, Italy, Egypt, and Paris, Napoléon
made his military reputation and honed politi-
cal skills that vaulted him to the top, making
him the epitome, in Broers’ view, of a genera-
tion of ambitious men. Attentive to Napoléon’s
private life, Broers also accents Napoléon’s
human qualities in a largely positive, though
hardly uncritical, portrait. In volume 2, Broers
will take up Napoléon’s responsibility for the
wars of 1805–15. A solid addition to the Na-
poléonic canon. —Gilbert Taylor
Red Eggs and Good Luck.
By Angela Lam.
Oct. 2015. She Writes Press, $16.95 (9781631520051);
e-book, $9.95 (9781631520068). 929.2.
Lam’s father had two names—Chinese and
American. Like him, Lam was caught between
two worlds growing up, trying to live up to her-father’s expectations while seeing the impact his
spendthrift ways had on her American mother
and two younger sisters. Through family trips
and fights, saddled with a fluffy perm and cajoled into wearing far too much makeup, Lam,
in her preteen years, must learn how to live for
herself, instead of for her father. She seamlessly
integrates the immigrant experience throughout her memoir, noting the way her father
claims he is Hawaiian to strangers and how the
scripted family affairs on his side differ from
looser American parties. She vividly draws the
personalities, avoiding the trap of presenting
her father as defined by his faults. Instead, she
shows how his eyes tear up when he cannot afford to buy her the Cinderella doll she wants.
It is this complexity that elevates Red Eggs and
Good Luck from a rank-and-file immigrant
journey to a thoughtful depiction of what can
cause families to clash. —Bridget Thoreson
YA: Across ethnic boundaries, teens will
connect with Lam’s experience of trying to
please a difficult parent. BT.
Writing the War: Chronicles of a World
War II Correspondent.
By Charles Kiley and Billee Gray. Ed. by
Anne Kiley and others.
Oct. 2015. 470p. illus. Prometheus, $25 (9781633881044);
e-book, $11.99 (9781633881051). 940.54.
Charles Kiley and Billee Gray met at a party
on the eve of Charles’ deployment for WWII.
They fell in love and began a correspondence
that ran through more than 700 letters written
during the years 1942–45. They saw each other intermittently, married in 1944, and kept
on writing. Charles became a correspondent
with Stars and Stripes, Billee developed her
own intimate writing style; both chronicled
as much of their lives as they could. Charles
trained with soldiers and worked with fellow
correspondents, including Andy Rooney, later
a 60 Minutes correspondent. Billee worked in
a defense industry plant, sold war bonds, and
volunteered with the Red Cross. Their editors
(son, daughter, and son-in-law) offer excerpts
from letters, Charles’ news articles, and diary entries to render a completely fascinating
look at WWII from the home and war fronts.
Charles reported on the war from London,
Normandy, Paris, Reims, Belgium, and Germany. He was the only reporter on the scene
when Germany negotiated its unconditional
surrender in May 1945. Photographs enhance
this intimate look at one couple maintaining
contact in the havoc of war. —Vanessa Bush