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Shirley Whiteside

Glasgow, United Kingdom
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About Shirley
Shirley Whiteside is a journalist based in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Arts & Books

Anti-Israel activist responds to professor's column on Gaza

14 Mar 2024  |  wcfcourier.com
Shirley Whiteside, a Cedar Falls resident and self-described 'anti-Israel activist,' responds to Joe Gorton's op-ed, challenging his views on the Israel-Gaza conflict. She criticizes the omission of Human Rights Watch's consistent criticism of Israel and highlights the International Court of Justice's legally binding order against Israel. Whiteside questions the data on civilian casualties, cites the International Federation of Journalists' death toll, and references pleas from humanitarian organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the International Committee of the Red Cross. She expresses her disagreement with Israel's military actions and the U.S. government's unconditional support for Israel, including the use of veto power in the UN Security Council. Whiteside advocates for the U.S. to use its power to seek peaceful solutions rather than military force.

East Side Voices: Essays Celebrating East and Southeast Asian Identity in Britain edited by Helena Lee. Book review

17 Jan 2022  |  www.heraldscotland.com
Helena Lee's 'East Side Voices' is a collection of essays by Asian and Southeast Asian writers in Britain, exploring their experiences with identity and racism. The book features contributions from notable figures like Katie Leung and Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, addressing issues such as cultural assimilation, racial stereotypes, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racist attitudes. The collection is praised for its illuminating, humorous, and poignant insights into the lives of Asian and Southeast Asian people in Britain, marking it as an important and engaging read.

Consumed: A Sister’s Story – A moving memoir of family, illness, and art

31 Aug 2021  |  www.heraldscotland.com
Shirley Whiteside reviews Arifa Akbar's memoir 'Consumed: A Sister’s Story', which delves into the complexities of Akbar's family life and her relationship with her sister Fauzia, who suffered from mental and physical health issues and died from a rare form of tuberculosis. The memoir is not a straightforward narrative but a woven tapestry of past and present, exploring themes such as the healing power of art, the history of tuberculosis, and family dynamics. Akbar reflects on her childhood in Lahore, her family's move to London, and her mother's influence. The book also touches on the poet Keats, who died of TB, and the cultural phenomena associated with the disease. Akbar's journey through grief and understanding is portrayed with emotional depth and a lack of sentimentality, making it a poignant and beautifully written memoir.

The Lost Lights of St Kilda Elisabeth Gifford

05 Mar 2020  |  bookoxygen.com
Shirley Whiteside reviews Elisabeth Gifford's historical fiction novel 'The Lost Lights of St Kilda', published by Corvus on March 5, 2020. The book is set on the remote UK archipelago of St Kilda, focusing on a love story between Chrissie, a native islander, and two Cambridge University students, Archie and Fred, who visit the island in 1927. The narrative alternates between the events on St Kilda and Fred's experiences in France during World War II. Whiteside praises Gifford's lyrical writing and the vivid portrayal of the St Kildan way of life, including their traditions and the harsh realities they face. The review commends the depth of the characters and the novel's avoidance of clichés, suggesting that Gifford deserves recognition for her work.

What We Did in the Dark Ajay Close

13 Feb 2020  |  bookoxygen.com
Shirley Whiteside reviews 'What We Did in the Dark' by Ajay Close, a novel published by Sandstone Press that fictionalizes the life of Catherine Carswell, a Glasgow-born author, journalist, and biographer. The book focuses on Carswell's tumultuous first marriage to Herbert Jackson, exploring the psychological and emotional challenges she faced. The narrative, set in 1904, follows Carswell's life from her time at Glasgow University, where she was denied a degree due to her gender, to her hasty marriage and harrowing honeymoon in Europe with Jackson, who is portrayed as paranoid and abusive. Close's novel is commended for its extensive research, compassionate portrayal of characters, and its success in avoiding the pitfalls of fictionalizing real people's lives. The review highlights the novel's suspenseful pace and its ability to engage readers in Carswell's perspective, ultimately celebrating her as a courageous woman who made legal history by divorcing Jackson on the grounds of his mental health disorder.

Book Review: Burnout by Claire MacLeary

01 Apr 2018  |  heraldscotland.com
In 'Burnout' by Claire MacLeary, Wilma juggles her detective work with a cleaning job, facing marital issues and a growing distance from her partner Maggie. The book, set in Aberdeen, addresses social issues like violence against women and class discrimination, while infusing humour into the narrative. The review praises the book as an absorbing and entertaining read, suggesting potential for a long-running series. Published by Contraband, the book is priced at £8.99.

Jane Harris's new novel is a gripping tale of colonial cruelty and slavery

16 Oct 2017  |  www.thenational.scot
Set in the 18th century, Jane Harris's novel 'Sugar Money' explores the lives of two brothers, Lucien and Emile, who are slaves on the island of Martinique. The story delves into their mission to rescue fellow slaves from British-controlled Grenada, highlighting the brutal conditions and punishments they endure. The novel underscores the resilience and courage of individuals in the face of colonial cruelty and draws parallels to modern-day slavery. Published by Faber & Faber, the book is a poignant reminder of the historical and ongoing struggles against oppression.

Engaging tale of an unsettled era: review of The Tyrant’s Shadow

23 Apr 2017  |  www.heraldscotland.com
Antonia Senior's third novel, set during the Interregnum, explores the lives of various characters amidst the political upheaval following the execution of King Charles I. The story follows Patience Johnson, her brother Will, and other characters as they navigate the complexities of the era. While the characterizations sometimes verge on cliché, the novel provides an engaging glimpse into the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

'A disturbing and haunting novel' – Review: The Good People, by Hannah Kent

Review: Glorious Misadventures - Nikolai Rezanov and the Dream of a Russian America, By Owen Matthews

30 Aug 2013  |  The Independent
Owen Matthews's 'Glorious Misadventures' tells the story of Nikolai Rezanov's attempts to expand Russia's presence in America during the early 19th century. The book details Rezanov's life, from his rise as a civil servant to his fur-trading ventures in Siberia and his dream of colonizing the Pacific Coast. Matthews's engaging style and humorous footnotes bring to life the complexities of Russian politics and Rezanov's character, from his betrothal to the young Conchita in San Francisco to his failed diplomatic mission to Japan. The review praises Matthews for his compelling narrative and the justice he does to Rezanov's flamboyant story.

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