Author

Frederic Colier

Frederic Colier has 9 articles published.

Frederic Colier, while an adjunct professor at CUNY, is also the executive producer and host of TV series, Books du Jour, a weekly literary program about books and the people who write them. He is a writer-at-large for several magazines and newspapers.

Language Speaks To Us in ‘The Bilingual Revolution’

in Non-Fiction by

This book is about education and the teaching of foreign language in the American school system…and this book is about community and the use of other languages within a specific social framework…and just as importantly, this book is also about cultures, ancestries, foreign roots, identities, and above all how they manifest through other languages. You could leave a blank space and fill it with your own input, and chances are, it would be coherent. Because, at heart, this book is a love-letter to the preservation of linguistic diversity. Its arrival could not be more timely. A disruptive force in this age of nativist revivalism, where pluralistic criteria are perceived as threats to uniformity and stability of a nation. Jaumont, a…

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BookTrib Review: Jonathan White Captures the ‘Spirit of the Ocean’ in ‘Tides’

in Non-Fiction by

Something unexpected will happen upon reading the chapters of this captivating book. Your nostrils will feel the iodine-laden air brushing as the winds break like waves upon the shores of your assumptions. They will jolt into wakeness. If you ever thought that the constant ebb and flow of the sea was something simple, think again. Jonathan White, an expert sailor, thought he did and came close to pay dearly for his naïve belief. Maps and tide charts reveal only the partial story of tides, the mechanical one. All along the pages of Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, White offers another impressive perspective. Tides is first a powerful anthem to the sea, a hymn to a misunderstood life-cycle,…

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‘Never Out of Season’ Touches on a Science We Never Knew Existed, That of the Banana

in Non-Fiction by

The opening chapter of “Never Out of Season,” exposes the book premise flat out. It deals with the short history of the banana. This rather prosaic fruit, available in abundance, at least in New York, from every street vendors on most street corners, is not the result of simple happenstance or sustained popular delight. Its ubiquitous presence is both the product of refined methods of distribution and the result of a long selective agricultural process, an outcome we have grown to rely and take for granted. This hegemony of productivity is what Dunn, through this masterfully well-documented book replete with singular stories reading like detective stories, underlines with conviction to sound the alarm. Indeed, even if you do not buy…

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Messineo’s ‘The Fire by Night’ Sheds Light on Nurses During Wartime

in Fiction by

Though all wars result in the same atrocious outcome, they are hardly similar in their origins. They often start with an incident, a provocation, appearing to be insignificant, but releasing long-supressed emotions. This can be a process which may take years to burn out. On May 8, 2017, we celebrated the official end of WWII, and though the conflict has been over for more than 70 years, it still continues to consume us on intellectual and spiritual levels. We still try to comprehend how atrocities of this magnitude are possible. We remember the main perpetrators, their names synonymous with locations, whereas all the forgotten heroes and sacrificed populations are collectively remembered as the ‘casualties.’ Even in memory, wars and history…

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Berenson’s ‘The Prisoner’ Strikes a Delicate Balance Between Fear and Paranoia

in Fiction by

In this age of great distrust, when even the most open-armed neighbor turns out to be a blood-thirsty sleeping cell waiting to enact some extremist cause, suspicion becomes the first natural line of defense, a secondary reflex when culture forces us to internalize the prevalence of danger. The Prisoner will feel like a fresh twist. The setting works in reverse, as the choice of story attempts to excoriate layers upon layers of phobia and paranoia. You could even venture to whisper that the story has a cleansing effect. In this case, John Wells, the main protagonist, is a Muslim convert who goes into hiding in the very epicenter of al Qaeda jihadist world, and so to infiltrate ISIS. Even though…

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Elliot Ackerman Has Endless Inspiration for ‘Dark At the Crossing’

in Fiction by

Here is an author whose fiction cannot be separated from his life, or, if you indulge me, whose novels are based on his life. Once a marine, with an impressive five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Elliot Ackerman is now a journalist based in Istanbul, from where he has been covering the Syrian Civil War since 2013. Dark at the Crossing, Ackerman’s sophomore novel, after his much-heralded debut novel, Green on Blue, like its predecessor, deals with characters trapped in the middle of a brutal conflict. The conflict here is not just the obvious Syrian debacle, but also the one of a failed marriage. Ackerman comments on the genesis of the novel as an insight he had while…

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Scotland Yard Detective Duo Take on Murder in Crombie’s ‘Garden of Lamentations’

in Fiction by

A new shipment from Texas transplant Deborah Crombie, brings another powerful thriller featuring the Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. The most interesting aspect of Crombie’s novels, and this one (her 17th) does not fail to hit the high mark, lies in their characterizations. No two thriller writers write alike, but two schools stand out. One that accentuates plots and actions, while the other emphasizes characterization and, indirectly, intimacy. We travel through life with the protagonists outside of the investigation. We meet their families and evolve within their domestic spheres, their marriage, children, and personal problems. It goes without saying that this latter category makes for a different kind of reading and novel experience. Crombie is neither one…

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In ‘The New Old Me,’ Meredith Maran Proves 60 Can Be the New 20

in Non-Fiction by

A great undiscovered jewel, and from what I infer, a book that deserves to get into every single book club in the nation, and beyond. My enthusiasm is perhaps excessive. There comes a time when a book appears and has valuable lessons to teach us. We learn something we never suspected existed. People, at 60, have a life as well, and they go through ups and downs and reinvention of self like the rest of us, and still have to learn lessons along the way. They can even display resilience and an appetite for life. It is pleasant surprise that a publisher would release a book that actually concerns our aging nation, where so much emphasis rests on the land…

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Pauline Lévêque and Florence Mars: The Culture of Raising Children

in Non-Fiction by

If you lived abroad for an extended period, even simply during a semester off while in college, you know that cultures are nothing alike. There is as much in common between Russian and Portuguese bread than between a whale and a tiger. That is what gives the world its colors and texture. There has been a bevy of books about raising children in foreign countries of late. France and Paris seem to be the major targets of this topic. A mother forced to live abroad because her husband’s multi-national has relocated the family to a distant land or simply a single mom in search of new adventures learn quickly that, in France, things are not quite the same as in…

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