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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 2

New on The Bookshelf

written by

Breath and Shadow

"At the End Of The Storm"

By Marleen Pasch

If Daria Demarest didn't have ice water in her veins, like her coalminer father taught her, life might look bleak. She's divorcing successful but unfaithful Ted. She's lost her glam

job as a network morning show host, and she's discovered that Ted's secret gambling habit drained their substantial savings. With no alimony, she's raising two teens in 1990's image-is-all Connecticut. Though she abandoned spiritual aspirations in the

freewheeling sixties, when pregnant by an anti-war activist who chose causes over commitment, Daria creates Awakenings, a show for women seeking healing in everything from aromatherapy to mindfulness meditation.

She's back on top, until, during a winter storm, her teen daughter Lizzy announces she's pregnant. Walking through Lizzy's pregnancy, Daria faces her own mother's rejection

and unyielding judgments that led Daria to surrender her firstborn. If shame and fear hadn't ruled her as a pregnant teen, she wonders, would she have kept her first child? Could she have allowed T.J. Townsend, her steadfast college admirer, to love her? When Daria arranges to meet her first daughter, the reunion stirs up more than it resolves. Angela's an actress, who proves to be as us unforgiving as she is talented. Desperate after Angela's rejection, Daria struggles to find the same healing she's offered her TV audience.

Then T.J., now a noted alternative physician, appears on Daria's show, offering her opportunities she passed up years earlier. Is she ready for the man who loved her when she couldn't love herself? She's not sure. The only way to find out is to walk, no matter how haltingly, through whatever storms ensue, relying on her untested faith and newfound relationships with family and friends.

"A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future"

By Ann Chiappetta

A demon deer and a ghost cat. Sibling rivalry and sexual awakening. Self-image and self-confidence. The chance for an offworlder to breathe free at last on a new planet. Those are just some of the diverse themes of these remarkable stories. Some endings are happy, some are sad, and some are intriguingly open-ended. But once you step inside the author’s world, you cannot emerge unmoved.

"The Truth About Our American Births"

By Judith Skillman

“Can you emigrate without immigrating? What is a refuge for a refugee? Judith Skillman’s The Truth about Our American Births asks bold questions and makes vital distinctions about the stories of her German Jewish heritage—from first to second to ensuing generations. Her poems are like the panorama beyond

the window as a train charges down its track, playing with time and memory, about what is told or assumed... The complex layers in her poems resound with surprising leaps and answers.”

Sharon Hashimoto, Award Winning Poet & Fiction Writer

"Caution: The Poetry of a Militant Abuelita"

By Venetia Sjogren

It became evident to Sjogren by the age of ten that adults eat their children. At that tender age, she learned to use poetry to escape her cannibalistic parents. The less fortunate survivors, used drugs, alcohol and other addictive, destructive behaviors to break free and mask their pain. Through her poetry she has learned to articulate her thoughts (although she thinks that if she made those thoughts apparent, she would be locked up for life). If her semi-autobiographical words of domestic violence, incest and white privilege makes you squirm - then do not purchase this book.

Venetia Sjogren  (Author)


Breath and Shadow recommends our readers read and talk and listen and inform themselves to be a part of positive change in the world.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelio

Waking Up White by Deborah Irving

How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Black Boy by Richard Wright

13th (a Netflix original)

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (a Netflix original)

8:46 Dave Chapelle (Netflix or Youtube)

John Oliver special on Police

Part of our mission at Breath and Shadow is to promote the work of writers with disabilities. In this section, we highlight a few titles written by people who have contributed work to our journal.

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