News of the World (Paperback)
Journalist, art critic, searcher, researcher, psychologist, inveterate traveler Andrew Solomon, in Far & Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-five Years, shows himself yet again to be possessed of an ability to be at once far-reaching and intensely personal in his perceptions and observations. The book’s first section is a brilliant essay on the initial stirring of his lifelong need for travel—the yen for safe harbor once he’d learned history’s hard lessons concerning the Holocaust—and in equal measure the historical, cultural and geographic differences that make change as unpredictable as it is inevitable, as personal as political. Solomon’s initial realization that Jews in danger in the darkening reality of WWII had no place to go when their homeland became their death trap, at a very early age made him determined to have an escape hatch—another identity and another country. Which, first as a student, then as a young professional England became, what he calls his jubilant exile. And so we track Solomon’s footsteps across the globe and over time, visiting and revisiting Russia and China, parts of Africa, Asian islands, and disparate parts of the Americas, witnessing change as political upheaval, as economic revolution, as artistic rebellion masked as irony. Whether through the mediums of art, genocide, depression, climate or ritual, he gets to the roots of change across cultures. As empathetic as he is knowledgeable, his proclivity for the overview ever tempered by the personal, he gives us a startling and insightful view of change in the making over the years, always reminding us of our common humanity in the process. As Far and Away makes clear, Solomon far and way the most original thinker of our time.— From Betsy Burton
National Book Award Finalist--Fiction
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself.