Book Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Thoroughly read copy of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Thoroughly read copy of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I know of slavery, of its shame and horror, and neither makes it my preferred topic when it comes to books. But this was a gift … so I began.

It was worth it.

Continue reading

Book Review: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

A look back (first published on 30 August 2015): since writing this review I’ve read all four of the Neapolitan Novels – none of them disappointed.

The Phraser

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

This book stuck in my hands – it followed me from the outskirts of Naples, to Pozzuoli and then to a small boat anchored off the island of Procida.  I didn’t want to put it down.

View original post 535 more words

Dear Devoted Friend – Reply to: “Dear Elephant, Sir”

Wild elephant

The elephant – “a symbol of purity, a dream of paradise lost” (words of Romain Gary in Dear Elephant, Sir)

In 1967 Romain Gary wrote an article that LIFE magazine described as “a love letter to an old companion”.  The piece was entitled “Dear Elephant, Sir”.  Almost half a century later I, with great nervousness, have attempted a reply on behalf of the elephant.  Romain Gary signed off his letter to the elephant with the words “Your very devoted friend” and then his name.


Dear Devoted Friend,

Should you ever read this letter you may wonder what took me so long to reply.  I trust that you did not think that I would forget.

The reason for my letter is of course self-preservation.  I, like you, know that our destinies are linked.

Continue reading

Space for your thoughts

There are stories, poems, whole worlds stuck in drawers and notebooks.  Chances are many of them may never climb out into the sunshine.

Well, if anyone’s notebook or drawer is starting to overflow, let me know.  There is space on The Phraser and room to grow.    Anything posted would always remain your work and your copyright – the Phraser would just give it an outing.

Two important points to note:  1) the decision as to whether or not to publish any piece is the editor’s, and 2) no payment is possible for submissions.