One of the treasures of Portland, Ore. is Powell’s Books, with what seems like million miles of book shelves, a literary labyrinth you can happily get lost in.
Powell’s connects those of us not lucky enough to be in the neighborhood with a monthly newsletter. My favorite element is the interview with an author. Here’s the a sketch about this month’s author and his book:
“Ishmael Beah became a soldier at age thirteen, one year after rebels attacked his village, flushing him into the forest to survive as a fugitive with other boys his age. In ”A Long Way Gone,“ Beah describes Sierra Leone's civil war as he knew it, entirely absent of political context. Kill or be killed — these were a homeless orphan's options. "Told in clear, accessible language by a young writer with a gifted literary voice," Publishers Weekly raves, "this memoir seems destined to become a classic." On the eve of publication, Beah discussed rehabilitation, forgiveness, hip-hop, moving walkways, and more.”
Read the interview here
It’s less about writing, but more about the tragic madness ongoing in Africa, a young stranger’s response to the West that lightens his account of “ a drug-filled life of casual mass slaughter ”
“When I got on a plane the first time and we landed at Schiphol Airport, I was already so out of it. I thought I was dreaming up the whole thing, being on a plane. We got off at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, and they had those... what do you call it? You know, like the escalators but flat?
Dave Welch: Moving walkways.
Beah: The moving walkway. I remember when I went back to Sierra Leone I told my uncle, "They're so improved, they make the ground move.”