Rose Solari’s Review of “Million Dollar Red” Lands on the Front Page of Lit Pub
Gleah Power's powerful new memoir receives the thumbs up from ASP's Rose Solari.
ASP'S OWN Rose Solari made waves today when her review of the much-anticipated new Gleah Powers memoir Million Dollar Red hit the front page of Lit Pub. Solari, the co-founder of Alan Squire Publishing and a working editor on almost every book we published, was more than prepared for the job of critic, penning a review that, though positive, does not pull any punches. At the end of the review, Solari gives Powers her most keen approval writing, "[Powers is] a writer who is still growing in ambition and range. I’m already looking forward to Gleah Powers’ next book."
As with every chapter in Million Dollar Red, “Abortos” is written to be read as a self-contained story. Aside from the obvious commercial value of this structure — the stand-alone nature of the chapters makes them ideal for promotional excerpting — it also allows Powers to pinball about in her life story. Instead of following a single linear path, the reader scrambles through Powers’ memories with her, alighting here and there for a tense and telling anecdote. What is lost in such a form is the sense of perspective that a more linear framework would allow. But the book mirrors the hectic, arbitrary twists and turns of the writer’s life.
Chief among these is a chance meeting in a Scottsdale bar with Ray, a costume designer in town to work on the Michelangelo Antonioni film, “Zabriskie Point.” Ray and Linda become a couple, and before long she is traveling with him, meeting a series of artistic and cultural luminaries who she finds alternately intimidating and inspiring. One of the latter is Kathleen Cleaver, wife of Black Panther co-founder Eldridge Cleaver, who powers meets when Antonioni is filming the group in New York. Cleaver provides the narrator with a powerful life motto: “Imagination is the most powerful weapon we have.”
As Powers makes her way from LA to New York, the pace pics up, along with her artistic aspirations.
This year, author Rose Solari takes on the famous National Novel Writing Month with her own unique twist.
Rose Solari sat down recently with the Kenyon Review’s Kristina Marie Darling to talk about the role of the indie press in fostering literary citizenship.
In “The Beginning, 1939” Rose Solari’s mastery of recitation is put to the music of her capricious mother and the frantic hopes of her father who wishes to leave “no long, tight pauses for her to fill.” I’ve written before about Rose’s use of swing and rhythmic motifs in her work, elements which are alive in this poem, but what is really mesmerizing to me about “1939” is the musical image toward the end which harbors no pretense of cramming lieder into language, but instead focuses on the very physical act of her mother playing the piano: