Reviews Articles

My Life Story: A Child Of The Windrush Generation, by Xystus Sestus Marcell

21 October 2021 | by Anne M Jones

Xystus writes of ‘not bearing grudges’, ‘because ultimately God is good’. | Detail of book cover of My Life Story: A Child Of The Windrush Generation, by Xystus Sestus Marcell

This small book tells the story, in his own words, of a man who came to the east end of London from St Lucia, in 1972. Xystus Sestus Marcel’s name refers to the book of Exodus, a reminder of enslaved people coming into emancipation. He was fourteen when he arrived,...

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The Deepening Stream, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

21 October 2021 | by Kate Macdonald

‘Fisher was a serious and committed novelist.’ | Book cover of The Deepening Stream, by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s 1930 novel will soon be available in a new edition from Persephone Books, and has a particular interest for Friends. Fisher was not, so far as I can make out, a Quaker herself, but her vigorous involvement in pacifism, war relief in the first world war, child...

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Living Presence: The Sufi path to mindfulness and the essential self, by Kabir Helminski

14 October 2021 | by Angela Greenwood

Book cover of Living Presence: The Sufi path to mindfulness and the essential self, by Kabir Helminski |

Over the years I have heard a number of Quakers comment that, while we are passionate about valuing and sharing silence, there is little substantial teaching on how to use and go deeply into it. There are of course various ‘enlightened’ spiritual teachers around, ancient and modern, who offer teaching...

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Activism for Life, by Angie Zelter

14 October 2021 | by Steve Whiting

Book cover of Activism for Life, by Angie Zelter |

Angie Zelter is a social change phenomenon. She is a dreamer of campaigns, creative strategist, meticulous researcher, persuasive negotiator, movement organiser, team-player and leader by example. She has an irrepressible vision of justice and peace and, naturally, a world free of nuclear weapons. Activism for Life recounts her story.

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A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

23 September 2021 | by Helen Porter

'When all are levelled by the literal levelling of their homes, people share whatever is saveable: clothes, food, and comfort, and others rush to provide help.' | Book cover of A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

Ten years before Rutger Bregman’s Humankind (see review 14 August 2020) Rebecca Solnit pre-figured his view of human nature as fundamentally kind and co-operative by analysing our response to catastrophe. It chimes well with our desire to recognise ‘that of God in everyone’.

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Quicksand, by Henning Mankell

16 September 2021 | by Nick Tyldesley

Book cover and detail of Quicksand, by Henning Mankell |

Henning Mankell, author of the Wallander books, wrote this series of short reflections before his death from lung cancer. It is subtitled ‘What it means to be a human being’. He explores what makes humans happy, what we mean by the joy of living, and how to keep positive given...

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There is a toad in my garage

09 September 2021 | by Susan Nuttgens

'But she has three neat fingers on each foot / And she is looking at me.' | by Laura Seaman on Unsplash

There is a toad in my garage All the small birds have gone away Or maybe the local cats got them Or the magpies.

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Hope’s Work, by David Gee

02 September 2021 | by Frank Regan

Book cover of Hope’s Work, by David Gee |

David Gee, a long-time peace activist, wrote this book to ask if there can be a future in an age of crisis. Crisis seems to be a hallmark of our collective existence and recent history. The experience of it directs us to a turning-point. Which way to go? We have...

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Backdoor Parole, by Journeyman Theatre

26 August 2021 | by Fred Ashmore.

'Ron comes to appreciate Quaker silence and toleration. Prison is a noisy place; the nights are awful.' |

How wonderful it was to be back at Friends House in July to attend a live performance by Journeymen Theatre. Both were sources of joy.

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Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action

26 August 2021 | by Catherine Henderson

Book cover of Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action |

When I began reading Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action, I thought it wouldn’t really be directly applicable to me. I don’t work for an NGO or in a conflict situation; my experience is parochial rather than global. But I was mistaken.

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