On June 27, 2012, the long-running, hard-touring, and world-renowned metal band lamb of god landed in Prague for their first concert there in two years. Vocalist D. Randall "Randy" Blythe was looking forward to a few hours offâa rare break from the touring grindâin which to explore the elegant old city. However, a surreal scenario began to play out at the airport as Blythe was detained, arrested for manslaughter, and taken to PankrÃ¡c Prisonâa notorious 123-year-old institution where the Nazis' torture units had set up camp and where today hundreds of prisoners are housed in claustrophobic, sweltering, nightmare-inducing conditions.
What transpired during Blythe's incarceration, trial, and eventual acquittal is a rock 'n' roll road story unlike any other, one that runs the gamut from tragedy to despair to hope and finally to redemption. Blythe is a natural storyteller and his voice drips with cutting humor, endearing empathy, and soulful insight. Much more than a tour diary or a prison memoir, Dark Days is D. Randall Blythe's own story about what went downâbefore, during, and afterâtold as only he can.
How music provided hope in one of the world's darkest timesâthe inspirational life story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest living Holocaust survivor
Alice Herz-Sommer was born in Prague in 1903. A talented pianist from a very early age, she became famous throughout Europe; but, as the Nazis rose to power, her world crumbled. In 1942, her mother was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and vanished. In 1943, Alice, her husband and their six-year-old son were sent there, too. In the midst of horror, music, especially Chopin's Etudes, was Alice's salvation. Theresienstadt was a "show camp", a living slice of Nazi propaganda created to convince outsiders that the Jews were being treated humanely. In more than a hundred concerts, Alice gave her fellow prisoners hope in a time of suffering. Written with the cooperation of Alice Herz-Sommer, Melissa MÃ¼ller and Reinhard Piechocki's Alice's Piano is the first time her story has been told. At 107 years old, she continues to play her piano in London and bring hope to many.
Graceâs mother is a movie star.World travel, famous people, and movie sets are her life. So are bodyguards, paparazzi, and constant chaos. Grace dreams of a normal life with regular school and real friends. She also dreams of knowing her father, whose identity her mother has never revealed. When her secretive mother announces theyâre going to Marthaâs Vineyard for the summer, Grace doesnât know the island holds the keys to her family history. But once the connection becomes clear, she canât resist searching for some answers. Grace makes some surprising moves along the way, from making a friend and piercing her ears to developing a strong suspicion of who her father is.
The correspondence of Vaclav Havel to his wife, Olga, during his four-year imprisonment by Czechoslovak authorities for his involvement in the Czech human rights movement. In these letters, Havel wrote of his own reflections on the theatre, on society and on philosophy.
Africaâs Last Romantic: The Films, Books and Expeditions of John L. Brom captures the drama and excitement of John L. Bromâs film expeditions from 1949 to 1962 through sub-Saharan Africa. Brom was the only explorer to follow the footsteps of Henry Morton Stanley and in a documentary interviewed the two last survivors of Stanleyâs expeditions from 1874 to 1890. In 1955 he also interviewed the famous nineteenth-century East African slave trader Tippu Tipâs grandson, who defended his grandfatherâs trade. Bromâs expedition was the basis for his bestseller 20,000 Miles in the African Jungle, which was translated into eleven languages. Brom managed to interview and film the rulers and tribes he encountered before they were decimated in the civil wars of the Congo after independence, and his historic films are now preserved in the Human Studies Film Archives of the Smithsonian Institution. Over 500 articles were published on Bromâs work on both sides of the Atlantic during his lifetime. Africaâs Last Romantic is a useful addition to college courses in Third World cinema, cinema studies, and African history.
A unique interweaving of the influences of politics and theater revealed in a spellbinding narrative of the life of VÃ¡clav Havel during Czechoslovakiaâs struggle for freedom.
VÃ¡clav Havel âdissident, activist, essayist, philosopher, politician, founder and president of the Czech Replublicâis known throughout the world as a hero of the human rights movement and martyr for the "right to write" (he was imprisoned many times under Communism in his country). But few in the West know that he is also his countryâs most famous playwright. This book tells the dramatic story of his life in the theater during three dark decades under Communism and the extreme risks that he and many other took to perform his works. Havelâs ten full-length plays and eight one-acts are also discussed â plays that not only tell the story of his country but also helped to change it, plays that have a significant place in twentieth-century world drama. For those who love the theater, his story is a powerful and moving one about what it means to be a playwright, a story wherein writing for the theater is an act of courage.
John Tyrrell's biography of the Leos Janacek is the culmination of a life's work in the field. It stands upon his existing documentary studies of Janacek's operas and translations of other key sources and his examination of thousands of still unpublished letters and other documents in the Janacek archive in Brno. Altogether it provides the most detailed account of Janacek's life in any language and offers new views of Janacek as composer, writer, thinker and human being. Volume 1, which goes up to the outbreak of the First World War and Janacek's sixtieth birthday in the summer of 1914, consists of chronological chapters providing a straightforward account of Janacek's life year by year and another forty contextual chapters. Topics include on-going sequences ('Music as autobiography I', etc.; 'Janacek's knowledge of opera I', etc.) and individual chapters on Janacek as a teacher, as a theorist, as an music ethnographer, on his speech-melody theory, his relationship to particularly influential operas (Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, Charpentier's Louise), on his mentors (such as Antonin Dvorak) and his betes noires (such as Karel Kovarovic). This is a particular feature are the specially commissioned chapters on Janacek's health by Dr Stephen Lock (one of the editors of the Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine, OUP 1994 and 2001, editor of the British Medical Journal, 1975-91, and a Janacek enthusiast since the early postwar broadasts on the Third Programme), and on Janacek's earnings and finances by Dr Jiri Zahradka (curator of the Janacek archive in Brno, and editor of authentic editions of Sarka and The Excursions of Mr Broucek).