Tania Messina, Co-owner Coyote's Voice Bookstore. On Tinisima, by Elena Poniatowska: It's a novel based on the life of Tina Modotti, the woman who went to live in Mexico during the early 1920s, with the American photographer Edward Weston. She was an excellent photographer herself, but political activity tended to dominate her life. After Weston returned to California, she remained in Mexico and was falsely accused of murdering her lover, a Cuban activist named Julio Mella. It was only through the intercession of her friend, Diego Rivera, that she was eventually released. The text, which is rich with the atmosphere of pre-World War II Mexico, is also spiced with examples of Modotti's photographs.
Paul Weir, Designer, Warne Pettit Design. On Modern Nature, by Derak Jarmon: He was a British independent film- maker--he made Edward II and Caravaggio and a slew of other films--who died of AIDS. These are his diaries. It's all about his garden; he talks about different flowers, plants and herbs, and how he treats them. It's also got a lot of Queer Theory, an Act-Up generation diary; he has the whole "pink generation" thing going on. But really it's mostly a gardening book. It ties into his passion for life. He was young--52 when he died--and it was published as he was dying. He's one of my favorite filmmakers. He's really wonderful--I've seen every film he made. He sparked a lot of British independent filmmaking into a new era, initiated a lot of stuff. He also painted. A show of his, including both paintings and films, is currently touring the world. He was a full-on Renaissance man.
Joe Donlan, News Anchor, KVOA Channel 4. On High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby: It's hard for me to read a lot of books because of all the periodicals I go through, but this was recommended by a friend of mine, who thought it was great. The book is about a man who is reliving all his past relationships and how he has failed so miserably with all of them. The main character is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girl friend leaves him for the guy upstairs, and he's miserable and relieved about it. It's kind of quirky, but interesting. I'm in the middle of it now. It's very British...British humor, slang, outlook.
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