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.
Like the cover photo, the poems in Difficult Weather are timeless and—unlike the poems in many first books—extraordinarily mature. Although the narrative voice is generally that of a young woman in her late twenties and early thirties whose subject matter sometimes ranges back to early childhood, these are poems of adulthood: the discovery and endlessly painful rediscovery of human frailty, sexual and emotional betrayal, bad love in all its familial and romantic varieties, memory, and elegy…
Robert Olen Butler loved Rose’s debut work of fiction for its sense of the eternity. This is one of many reasons why all of Rose Solari’s work must be treasured. It plays on life motifs, flips, forms, and languors upon the archetypes formed of human experience. We have spoken previously of Rose’s reverence for the myth in modern day. We even looked before at A Secret Woman’s sense of itself as being both poem and novel…
Rose Solari reads “Benedict” from her Debut Novel A Secret Woman is not only a pleasure to read, it is sneaky serious in a way I particularly like. Rose […]