The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Rachel thought of herself only as a young girl, nothing more, until she found herself living with her grandmother, who told that she should learn her new position, that of a black girl, rather than hold herself to what she was raised as -
the daughter of a white mother who was not labeled. The daughter of a Danish woman and a black man, Rachel was never defined as any particular race, and it is not until she, her mother and two brothers fall from the top of a Chicago apartment building -
Rachel being the only survivor -
that she realizes there are definitions at all.
As her new life begins, Rachel struggles to be what she is asked to be, all the while coping with the confusion, brutality and prejudice in the only way she can. As she explains, “I imagine inside of a person there’s a blue bottle, you know? Ö The bottle is where everything sad or mean or confusing can go. And the blues -
it’s like the bottle. But in the bottle there’s a seed that you let grow. Even in the bottle it can grow big and green.”
And a young boy in the Chicago building where Rachel’s tragedy happened cannot escape its repercussions either. After seeing Rachel’s little brother drop past his window, he is haunted by the event. He eventually escapes his dysfunctional family and the memories by boarding a bus in search of the girl he learns has survived the fall. As they each separately struggle with the uncertainties of who they are, the responsibilities they encounter at such young ages, and the grief they have swallowed, they eventually encounter each other -
he aware of who she is, she only finding herself drawn to his kindness and clarity.
In “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,” author Heidi Durrow creates a captivating cast of characters that make the reader take a look into the future and consider what it is that will define us in the future. She claims Barbara Kingsolver as her hero and is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism and Yale Law School. She has received numerous grants for her work.
Frankly, My Dear
“Gone With the Wind” endures as few other books -
and movies -
have, and author Molly Haskell follows the lead, describing her “Frankly, My Dear” as “Gone With the Wind Revisited.”
Addressing the novel as a combination of film work, political and cultural study, sociology, and a look at the role of women, Haskell examines each angle both collectively and individually in her analysis of the film.
As a feminist, film expert and Southern author, Haskell exhibits a firm grasp on the various ways the book can be addressed -
according to the age of the reader and their geographic basis. Her insight and evaluation of GWTW (few works are so easily recognized by their initials) throw an open eye and mind onto a work that has endured as a classic in American cinema since 1939.
The longest and most expensive film made up to that point in time, GWTW altered the way Hollywood looked at movies -
aiming them toward box-office bonanzas hoping to outdo its number of Academy Awards and box office receipts. Haskell explains how the film’s long standing popularity and portrayal of its political time -
accurate or not -
have fascinated readers and viewers for decades.