Mar 27, 2012 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
When he attended Cicero-North Syracuse High School, Christopher Hebert cared more about the sports page than the opinion page.
“My after-school activities were sports, not debate club,” he wrote in a recent blog on his website. “If I looked at the newspaper, it was to study box scores. In this I was no different from any of the rest of my friends.”
The author of a compelling debut novel called “The Boiling Season,” Hebert clearly demonstrates that his thinking has changed dramatically. In fact, he’s obsessed with what he calls “political aversion,” the condition that plagued his youth.
After spending time in Guatemala and reading books about countries such as Ghana and Chilé and Haiti, Hebert deduced “that maybe political aversion isn’t limited to our shores after all.”
Like a lot of self-consumed suburban kids, Hebert’s political awakening came at college. There, he became aware of the epidemic of voter apathy across the U.S. And he learned about “the situation in Haiti, where in 1987, daring to vote could get a person killed, and where people persisted in doing it anyway”
The more he read about Haiti, he remembers, “the more I came to believe that conceiving of such a world is one of the most important things literature can do. And I realized that some of my favorite novels, the ones to which I felt the greatest affinity, were concerned with politically averse individuals caught in the middle of similarly fraught political situations.”
Peter Ho David, author of “The Welsh Girl,” thinks Hebert nailed it. He called “The Boiling Season” “a beguiling political novel played out on an intimate scale.”
A real page-turner
Set in Haiti on the equatorial Caribbean island of Hispaniola, “The Boiling Season” revolves around 19-year-old Alexandre who rises from gang-controlled slums to a job as valet to an influential senator. Rather than scale a social ladder in the nation’s capital, Alexandre escapes to the mountains working as a caretaker at a derelict estate being developed by a rich American businesswoman. His sanctuary is brief.
Rebels who aim to depose the island’s dictatorial regime invade the mountain estate and Alexandre must choose between preserving his paradise and protecting his people.
Not only is Hebert’s book a page-turner, it’s also heavy as hell!
The author’s ruminations on apathy intelligently address one of the most troubling concerns of the 21st century – lack of interest in the betterment of society. Instead, our increasingly digitized lifestyles are perpetually chilled by emotional emptiness. Maybe books like “The Boiling Season” will finally turn on the heat.
Hebert is the son of Dennis and Judi Hebert, who live in Liverpool on Third Street. Dennis is a trustee of the village of Liverpool.
Published by Harper, “The Boiling Season” retails for $25.99/hardcover, but you can check it out for free at Liverpool Public Library. Find it on the New Fiction shelf.
‘Bright Young Thing 2’
She’s a bright young thing, all right!
Neo-chanteuse Erika Clement, who lives in Liverpool, performs her show titled “Bright Young Thing 2, An Evening of Jazz, Swing and Cabaret,” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 30-31, at the Twist Ultra Lounge, 252 W. Genesee St., down city.
Clement’s musical director, pianist Josh Smith will lead an eight-piece orchestra as the vocalist sings swinging tunes from the 1930s to the 1960s including songs made famous by Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland and Mae West. A reprise of Clement’s “Bright Young Thing” show staged last year, the performance features music by composers such as Kurt Weill, Cole Porter and Kander & Ebb.
Among the musicians in the horn section will be Liverpool High School alumna Melissa Gardiner. A former member of the 315 All Stars, Gardiner went on to attend the University of Michigan before producing a CD, “Transitions.”
Twist Ultra Lounge is located one block west of Clinton Square; $15; 479-7469.
Erika is the daughter of David Clement, a drummer and computer consultant, and Aino Parlo, an architect, who live in Liverpool.
Word to the wise
If you are a registered Republican and you live here in the village, you should make every effort to attend the April 26 village GOP Caucus, at 7 p.m. April 26 at the Village Hall on Sycamore Street.
Way to go!
I don’t know about you, but I was extremely impressed with the DPW’s snow removal this year. Way to go, guys!