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Letter to the Reader:

A Publisher’s World

I once thought that writing a monthly column to tons of folks around the world, where the sum total of my inner self could manifest itself at will, and no one on our good earth, could tell me to button up-- would be heaven on earth.

However, in the spirit of be careful what you wish for, the one thing I have learned about running anything, from a corner candy store in the Bronx, to the Neworld Review, to the biggest bank in China, is that you have to pay close attention to minute details, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, like it or not.

And just as important, the outside world, more often than one would wish, could burst in anytime, unwelcome, often in horrific details-- into your little world, and make you once again realize that you are in a worldwide, old fashion Bronx fist fight, despite all of the efforts to avoid such a thing.

Now I know why I became a novelist 25 years ago, determined to leave the world of publishing for good!

Writing a novel is something that extends itself over months, if not years, and is not necessarily subjected to the loud noise just outside the door. City Marshals could be dragging your sorry ass out of your apartment into the streets, and all you wonder about was where that sudden cold breeze came from.

And there is something to be said about the often-manic drama playing out in the mind of the novelist at every waking hour, and even in dreams. It could sometimes be a pleasant, dreamy world, or it could be filled with vivid nightmares, night and day, with one’s inner fears becoming near reality.

***

Still, writing this column to you as editor-in-chief/publisher, has also helped form my life for the last 13 years, and I know I have to pay attention to real life to keep this going, while still being acutely aware of the fact that the Neworld Review started as merely an extension of that strange passion to make things up, and put forth a point of view that is mine alone.

***

Whatever the ulterior motives for this magazine, in the end, here we are, and here I am, the publisher once again.

And here you are, the most important players in this drama, the readers.

Enjoy issue No. 87 of the Neworld Review.

Fred Beauford

Editor-in-Chief

Publisher

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Now

Neworld Review
Vol. 12 No 87 - 2019


Editor-in-Chief
/Publisher

Fred Beauford

Online Managing Editor

Richard D. O'Brien

Associate Editor

Jane M. McCabe

Editor-at-Large

Jan Alexander

Theatre Editor

Linda Armstrong

Director of Photography

Kara Fox

Senior Editors

Herb Boyd
Michael Moreau
M.J. Moore
Molly Moynahan

President

Alexis Beauford

Contributing Writers

Larry Baker
Todd Steven Burroughs
Sally Cobau
Steve Fisch: Portfolio
Robert Fleming
Suzanne Gagnier: Portfolio
Emily Rosen
Jane Smiley
Jerry Ward


The Neworld Review is a publication of Fred Beauford, 3183 Wilshire Blvd, #196, Suite A23
Los Angeles, Ca. 90010

Material in this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers.

Manuscripts should be accompanied by a self-stamped envelope.

Neworld Review cannot be held responsible for unsolicited photographs or manuscripts.

All correspondence to:

Fred Beauford
Editor-in Chief/Publisher

Neworld Review
3183 Wilshire Blvd, #196, Suite A23
Los Angeles, Ca. 90010

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This is the latest in our new column entitled, SPOTLIGHT. Each Monday we will highlight an author or artist’s latest work. We hope you all enjoy it.

SPOTLIGHT

SPOTLIGHT on Alice Combs

Alice Combs

Alice Combs transformed herself from a divorced mother of two on food stamps into a successful entrepreneur and owner of Vulcan Wire.

Any time you pass a Costco and see the bales of cardboard in the back – that’s all baled with her wire.

......Read More



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This Month's Articles

PORTFOLIO

By Kara Fox

Jen & Guy

DIGITAL NOMADS

Interview with Jenifer Byington, The Evolista

QUESTION: Where in the world are Jen & Guy?

ANSWER: Check Instagram. These two globetrotters met in a bar in Mexico, secretly eloped a few months later, ran off to live in Paris, came home to the U. S., raised 2 sons, had dogs, homes, and careers, and now they are off to see the world after 29 years of marriage.

Jenifer & Guy are a new type of tourist, travel bloggers. Jenifer plans, they travel to unique destinations; Guy flies back and forth, fitting his career in between. Guy, a self-taught photographer, shows with a camera what Jenifer documents with words.

ABOUT THE EVOLISTA

Jenifer’s blogging journey started in 2017 because she wanted to resume her career after being a full time mom. Her goal was to find a virtual job that could travel with her so they could realize their lifetime dream of living abroad. Now, traveling has literally become her job, which is perfect for the girl with a self-proclaimed severe case of wanderlust. “I’m constantly dreaming about the next place I want to explore. If I’m being totally honest, my dream would be life as a digital nomad.”

Guy grew up traveling the world with.....Read More



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REVIEWING

The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers

By Bridgett M. Davis

Reviewed by Brenda M. Greene

Book Jacket

Upon reading Bridgett Davis’s The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers (Little Brown and Company (2019), I immediately thought of Louise Meriwether’s seminal and classic coming of age novel, Daddy Was a Number Runner (1970).  I pondered on the connections that would surface.

Did Davis and Meriwether, separated by nearly five decades, share a similar journey?  Did they both grow up in an urban economically depressed environment?  Were they subjected to sexual abuse and fragmented family relationships? In short, was Bridgett Davis’s memoir a version of Daddy Was a Number Runner circa 1960 and 1970?

Bridgett M. Davis, novelist, essayist, filmmaker, and professor of writing, pens a memoir that tells her story, as well as the story of her mother, Fannie Davis, a woman who used her knowledge of the numbers industry in Detroit during the 60s, 70s and 80s to run a successful business and to raise and provide a home for her five children.  A migrant from Nashville, Tennessee in 1958, Fannie Davis and her husband settled in Detroit, Michigan and carved a working-class life for their family.

The World According to Fannie Davis portrays the experiences and challenges faced by this Black woman involved in the numbers business and the obstacles and hurdles that those who migrated from small.....Read More



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MAN ABOUT TOWN

China Is a Land of Natural Beauty and Apparent Prosperity for Many, Under Ever-Watchful Eyes

An Essay by Michael Moreau

Hong Kong Harbor

I’ve visited more than a dozen countries over the years, some multiple times and over several weeks or months. And if I’ve learned anything it’s that you don’t get to know a country well as a tourist, but you might get a sense of a national mood and lifestyles, and how people conduct their daily lives.

I just spent a month in mainland China and Hong Kong and had the advantage over most American tourists of having a wife from Hong Kong who had spent months prior to the trip brushing up on Mandarin. Reflecting on that trip back in L.A. while Hong Kong explodes in protests, and just held municipal elections with more than 70 percent participation that repudiated the Beijing government, my feelings about China are more ambivalent than those I have had for any other country for reasons that I will try to explain.

First of all, I have to emphasize that I am no China expert.

Traveling from Beijing to Chengdu, Xian, the magnificent Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve and Shanghai one is struck by the very vastness of the country, from the hugely populated cities to the spectacular natural beauty of the countryside. But what one experiences very quickly, and can be surprising to Westerners who have sketchy knowledge about the country are two things: the warmth and welcoming attitude of the people and the conspicuous prosperity—particularly in the cities, where people spend money at pricey malls, restaurants and tourist attractions and in the ubiquitous Starbucks and home-grown coffee shops.

It’s just like home only more of it. I didn’t know what a Blancpain wristwatch was until I saw one in a shop window priced at $20,000 American dollars.

Beijing is certainly one of the world’s safest big cities. Day or night you can go anywhere unbothered—unless it’s by the occasional native who stares at you or asks to have his picture taken with him because he had rarely seen a tall Caucasian walking the streets of the capital

During my visit in October throngs of tourists from all over the country converged to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the communist regime. Many of them, generally referred to as the mountain people, had had no previous contact with Westerners, nor had they seen a “foreign devil,” which is a common and not necessarily disparaging Chinese term for white foreigners

The safety of the city—and indeed all of China—is in part explained by two obvious phenomena: there are video cameras everywhere and there are police or civilian security guards posted wherever you go. And in more heavily trafficked areas, there are mobile police vans conspicuously parked in city squares and at busy intersections.

Order and control are the key principles in keeping 1.4 billion people organized. Everything is monitored. We took taxis to get around the sprawling cities and no cabbie ever overcharged us. In fact, cabs have a phone number behind the driver’s seat to call if you suspect that you are being gouged. We were told that if a driver cheats you, he would be found out and likely lose his license, or at least social points. (More about the social credit system later.)

On this visit, my wife and I both had.....Read More



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POEM

Unknown Poet from Rue Montpelier

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson


Michael Lee Johnson

I warned you darts with advice
strong words tripping over emotions
like an imbecile-
so you think you’re Leonard Cohen
loving some naked Nancy in a cluttered
matchbox apartment overlooking
European culture simulated, 
above some obscure narrow
Montreal street?

For your information,
straight poetics from insanities Almanac,
Leonard Cohen died years.....Read More



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CONVERSATION

A Conversation with Dina Nayeri
The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You.

By Jan Alexander

Dina Nayeri

Asylum and the Story-Telling Lottery

I am meeting Dina Nayeri on a noisy concourse beneath Rockefeller Center in New York. She arrives, after a couple of texts because it’s hard to find a staircase leading down there (it took me a while, too), looking as rushed as any New Yorker. She’s wearing slim capris and her hair is streaked reddish; for all appearances this 40-year-old woman is a stylish citizen of the world who’d be at home in any major metropolis.  The hug, though we’ve never met before, is a standard greeting between cosmopolites.

Nayeri writes about assimilation in her new book, The Ungrateful Refugee, which is both a memoir of her own flight from Iran and a cri de cœur for refugees from all over. But she grew up in an urbane home in the ancient capital city of Isfahan, the child of a doctor and a dentist, then had to discover American ways from the Oklahoma plains before she was able to assimilate back into the world at large—to college at a faraway place called Princeton, then to Harvard Business School, then to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

She has written two novels, Refuge, and A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, both of which contend with Iranian families in which some leave for the West while others stay behind, and she’s won the kind of prizes and fellowships that a writer can spend a lifetime coveting, including the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize and the O. Henry Prize.

She lives in Paris with her husband and young daughter now, after several years in London, and has come back to the U.S. for a book tour. She’s had a busy round of interviews. It’s after 2:00 and she’s had no time for lunch, so we find a gourmet deli and scramble for an unoccupied table. I’ve read about her time in a refugee camp where mealtimes were set, and how fortunate she was to be in a low-hardship camp where there was enough to eat, though as in all refugee enclaves, living in limbo created emotional scars that will never heal.

I’ve also read about why she isn’t totally, unequivocally grateful to America, and the West at large, for taking her in, along with.....Read More



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THEATRE

Review of “Tina”

By Linda Armstrong

Adrienne Warren

“Tina” is tremendous on Broadway! Forget what you think you know about Tina Turner, her life and her struggles and go see the in-depth, layered production that book writer Katori Hall with the assistance of Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins has put together. “Tina” redefines what the Broadway musical experience can be!

You not only get to find out about her strange relationship and rejection by her mother, her close, loving relationship with her grandmother and her toxic relationship with Ike Turner, but you learn that there was another man in her life and she wasn’t just some starstruck teenager attracted to Ike Turner.

This musical is eye-opening. It is magnificently put together. It is thrilling to experience how beautifully and smoothly the storyline is interwoven with showstopping performance after showstopping performance of Tina Turner’s biggest hits.

Going to see a musical called “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” you expect to hear a mass amount of her songs, but what I could appreciate was the logical, common sense way they are presented throughout the musical. The songs are so perfectly placed! This is paramount to the success of a musical.

You get to hear “Nutbush City Limit,” “Shake a Tailfeather,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” “A Fool in Love,” “Better Be Good to Me,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Proud Mary,” “I Don’t Wanna Fight No More, “ “Private Dance,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” and “(Simply) The Best,” and still others.

You won’t believe the level of entertainment that this musical packs. I couldn’t believe how many times I felt chills throughout my body as Adrienne Warren sang Tina Turner songs, replicating that signature voice! Warren takes that stage and owns it!

She is joined on stage by a fantastic cast that includes Daniel J. Watts as Ike; Dawnn Lewis as Zelma, her mother; Myra Lucretia Taylor as Gran Georgeanna, her grandmother; Gerald Caesar as Raymond, a love interest; Mars Rucker as.....Read More



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ESSAY

Learning from the Germans: Toward a Critique of Impure Ignorance

An Essay by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

book jacket

SNAFU. Since January 2017, confidence in a future for capitalism and American democracy has diminished at home and abroad. Do many Americans approve of lack of dignity in the Office of the President? Yes, and they equate irrational behavior with a redemptive rule of white power and denigrate the somberness of a still legitimate rule of law. Contradiction abounds.

Do a number of Americans cling to the slender hope that imperfect order shall yet triumph over political chaos? Yes. Confusion flourishes. We can expect to hear sad tales from embattled Kurds regarding how casually the PLOTUS betrayed them with a smirk, moving forward to find the telos of his agenda. SNAFU indeed, SNAFU that inspires existential fear and pragmatic trembling.

The hubris of my distance from my fellow citizens allows me to imagine a dreadful scenario of impure ignorance. The Medusa of cosmic evil, a patron saint with impeccable credentials, shall turn our minds and hearts into pristine, water-logged stone. Pity the suffering of our children and grandchildren in the pseudo-public schools of New Orleans as we confess complicity in producing chaos, as our greed, innate corruption, adoration of decadence, and dependence on disaster tourism punish us most judiciously.

In a pre-future I delight in imagining, Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) will be required reading in our schools, a fitting companion for such works as Machiavelli's The Prince, W.E.B. DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk, Charles W. Mills' The Racial Contract, Grace Elizabeth Hale's Making Whiteness, and John Rawls' Theory of Justice.

Students who have the good fortune of being taught in the most elite schools of New Orleans shall learn priceless lessons about Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung or Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the fine art of mastering and trying.....Read More



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VISUAL ART

A Word of Explanation: Behind every painting is a story, and sometimes one leads to another.

Reviewed by Jane M McCabe

bodhisattva1 painting

This series of paintings started because I had been given an orchid and wanted to paint it, but I wanted to put something with it. Then, in my favorite, classy thrift store in Pasadena I noticed this Thai wooden statue of a reclining Buddha. I couldn’t afford to buy it, so I took some photographs to work from, and produced painting (1) Reclining Buddha.

I was delighted with the painting and wanted to do more along that line, so I went to the Asian Art Museum in Pasadena and looked at statues of buddhas and bodhisattvas, but I didn’t exactly know what a bodhisattva was, so.....Read More



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POEM

A Poem by Fee Thomas

Fee Thomas

The Blood of Black Boys 
Swallowing up purple mountains 
they'll never see
Walks entrenched soiled by who they were
Who they were gonna be
Red outlined their bodies
All of the places they'll.....Read More



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SHORT STORY

BREAST WORSHIP

A Short Story By M. J. Moore

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Besides having that “last glass of Shiraz” that kept being refilled, they took turns with one of her water pipes.  He noticed she had a few set out in strategic locations.  They were also rolling up a handmade rug that protected some of her well-polished hardwood floor.  This was her idea; and it seemed to be a sudden whim.  She let him choose music.

“Nothing too fast, okay?  I’m like the Tin Man in terms of fitness.  And I haven’t danced in years.  But I saw this movie last month where a woman just moves and grooves and makes a little dance into a meditation, and I think it’s what the doctor ordered over here.”  She slipped off her sandals and Fred admired the dark burgundy color of her toenail polish.  It complemented her red hair, which was always lovely.

The sound of a crowd’s ovation filled the room.  And after a slow pounding downbeat from Sam Woodyard’s drums, the Duke Ellington Orchestra began to wail on the blues.  The tempo was right.  The brass was heavy and dripping.  The solo saxophone of alto-master Johnny Hodges took center stage and his sensual, soaring tone unleashed them.  They danced to the “Jeep’s Blues,” a long and deliciously melodious performance from the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.

The sound of Johnny Hodges was enough to wring tears from stone.  His teasing, long-winded and big-breath solo style on “Jeep’s Blues” (along with the pulsating and make-your-body-come-alive percussion of Sam Woodyard, who drummed at this tempo like a man making love to every skin on every head of each drum within his reach), it inspired them to let go of the usual punishment known as self-consciousness; that bizarre species of self-torture that made them as vulnerable as anyone to self-censorship.  Now they allowed themselves not just to hear the song or to dance to the music: instead, they became the music.  Minute by minute, as they replayed the same song four or five times, they surrendered to an impulse that was in some ways as old as time.  They moved.

Moving with her was the realization of his summertime classroom daydreams.  He’d wondered to himself so many times just what it might be like to get close to her; hang out with her; perhaps hold her hand or caress her in whatever way was possible.  Right now, the most obvious possibility was to keep her moving to the music and that was easy: even after hearing “Jeep’s Blues” three times, Carol Ann insisted: “Play that song again!  Just one more time!”  He did what she asked.  In spite of the heat, and the very late hour.

They instinctively finished this last slow dance by welding themselves together.  His front to hers.  Face to face.  And her head rested briefly on his shoulder, just before she tossed her hair back and playfully pinched his ass, saying: “Let’s hear this other one.”

While selecting another album, Carol said:  “Go to my room for me, will you?  There’s a big barrette on the table next to my bed.  Bring it out here for me, okay?”

He paused on the way out of her room, looking at her bed.  His breathing was hard.

Back in her living room, his shock was complete.  She must have moved like greased lightening.  In one minute, she had retrieved.....Read More



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