Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

A Call for Books and a Poignant Postscript

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

A Call for Books and a Poignant Postscript

Article excerpt

It will be a sad day for the humble book when NCR readers stop climbing on podiums and soapboxes and other high places to spread the word about their favorites. I want to renew our annual call, which I first made two issues ago, for the book that amused or frustrated or edified or even sanctified you.

In our Winter Books supplement, this year as always, we plan to make space for everyone to sound off about favorite books of the year. You may write it as short as you wish -- and brevity very often is the soul of wit -- but try to keep it down to 300 words at the long end. Please share the title of the work, the author, also the publisher and year of publication if you know them -- we are especially interested in books published in the past year.

Since there will be no payment for this, we are forced to appeal to your higher nature, or the fear of Purgatory, or -- well, someday you may write a book, too, and then, when no one mentions it (an impossible situation in your case), you'll understand how gracious a thing it is to help out an author or a book at this topsy-turvy time when the glittering newfangled media are getting all the attention.

The deadline is Oct. 11. The Winter Books issue is Nov. 5.

Please send entries to NCR at 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City MO 64111. But it would be even better to send them by e-mail to ncropinion@aol.com

As the world struggles to find some way to end the agony in East Timor, we pass along a poignant and sad post-postscript to the story by James Fox that ran in our Sept. 17 issue. Fox, director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, was an election observer for the Carter Center in Atlanta.

His observations here are a reminder that amid the horror, it is often too easy to brand an entire people, in this case Indonesians, as indiscriminately

violent and dismissive of human rights. As Fox writes, there are countless Indonesians who have joined the struggle for human rights in East Timor.

His latest dispatch follows:

      Fr. Tarcisius Dewanto.

      What sticks in my memory are his broad smile, wide eyes and unmistakable
   Javanese mannerisms. Fr. Tarcisius Dewanto was so young and now he is dead.

      We seemed to get on well from the moment we began talking with each
   other in the churchyard in Suai. He invited me to visit him at the seminary
   in Dili after things had settled down, and I had accepted. I was looking
   forward to meeting him again.

      Last week when I arrived in Jakarta from East Timor, I began writing a
   short article that was intended to hold out a ray of hope by focusing on
   the work of reconciliation of the two parish priests in Suai, Fr. … 
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