Spring reading / 2011

{liberatormagazine.com exclusive feature}

Thelonious Monk
by Robin D.G. Kelley

Documents the “life and times of an American original,” Kelley’s book is a must-read for Monk aficionados and jazz neophytes alike. The biography is a swift yet highly detailed look at a jazz great whose fame and recognition came relatively late in his career. Attention is given to Monk’s childhood neighborhood, San Juan Hill (a kind of proto-Harlem; it was razed to make way for the Lincoln Center), and the musician’s ventures into the Brooklyn jazz scene. Kelley places Monk alongside the progenitors of bebop and interrogates the artist’s notoriously eccentric reputation.

Pedro Paramo
by Juan Rulfo

In search of his father at his dying mother’s request, Juan Preciado visits the eerie town of Comalo. While piecing together the clues regarding his father’s whereabouts, Juan encounters a town inhabited by apparitions and memories. This Mexican novella is considered to be an early example of “magical realism”.

recorded by D.T. Niane, translated by G.D. Pickett

An epic that has been passed down from the griots of medieval Mali, the soon-to-be-king Sundiata rises from humble beginnings to fulfill prophecies about his uniting the twelve kingdoms of Mali into one of Africa’s greatest empires.