Winner of the 2023 Pulitzer Prize * Winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction A voice for the ages—akin to Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, but more resilient. From the acclaimed author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees, this is a brilliant novel that enthralls, compels, and captures the heart as it evokes a young hero’s unforgettable journey to maturity. Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities. Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.
-Doug Green, publisher, The Mirror Daniel Ellsberg has died; he was 92 years old. He suffered from pancreatic cancer. A graduate of Harvard, he volunteered to go to Vietnam as a marine, a decision that made him determined to do everything he could to stop the war. His notoriety came from him helping to write – and then releasing in 1971 – The Pentagon Papers, a monolithic 7,000-word, top secret document, which detailed two decades of lies about the war in Vietnam. The papers were released to the New York times and ultimately led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon. The “Plumbers”, set up in the basement at Watergate, was done so to discredit Ellsberg – their primary goal. The White House established this plan to destroy him; however, through their illegal activities and practices Ellsberg was found not guilty of treason. At one stage he was facing prison time of 115 years. In 2003 he wrote a book called Secrets, about his foreign policy career and the FBI undertook a nationwide search for him to no avail. At the same time, he continued to distribute copies of The Pentagon Papers. Funnily enough, Secrets came out in the same year that the false war on Iraq was declared. A documentary about Daniel Ellsberg’s life, ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’ was released in 2010, nominated for an Academy Award. It is hard to find these days to watch. To the end he was supporting those against nuclear weapons and of Taiwan. He was a long-time friend of Noam Chomsky. He lived by his convictions…the type of person we need more of in the world today.
by Anthony Seldon & Raymond Newell The UK had Magaret Thatcher and Teresa May who held the ship steady for a few years. Tony Blair, an American ‘poodle’, David Cameron ex-PR, and more lately, Lis Trusk, here and gone in five minutes and of course, Boris Johnson, almost as unhinged as that bloke in the USA who was president before this current one. Across Australasia Paul Keating was one of the better leaders, and in Singapore Lee Kuan Yew. But back to Boris… After his dramatic rise to power in the summer of 2019 amid the Brexit deadlock, Boris Johnson presided over the most turbulent period of British history in living memory. Beginning with the controversial prorogation of Parliament in August and the historic landslide election victory later that year, Johnson was barely through the door of No. 10 when Britain was engulfed by a series of crises that will define its place in the world for decades to come. From the agonising upheaval of Brexit and the devastating Covid-19 pandemic to the nerve-shredding crisis in Afghanistan and the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Johnson’s government ultimately unravelled after just three years. This gripping behind-the-scenes work of contemporary history maps Johnson’s time in power from start to finish and sheds new light on the most divisive Prime Minister to have led the United Kingdom since Thatcher. Based on more than 200 interviews with key aides, allies and insiders, Johnson at 10 gives the first full account of Johnson’s premiership, the shockwaves of which are still felt today. There was utter chaos inside 10 Downing Street where Johnson took huge risks with the truth and malleable principles. His ineptness performing the basic functions are here for all to see. -Doug Green, Publisher, The Mirror www.themirrorinspires.com