Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014 - (Page 36)

off the shelf The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp sendker review by rae gernant the day after Julia Win graduates from law school, her father disappears without a trace, leaving behind his wife, two adult children, and a successful career as a lawyer in new York. his family knows nothing of the 20 years of his life before he met Julia's mother, so it's not long before questions and doubts multiply about the history and intentions of this husband and father. four years after he disappears, Julia's mother gives her a box of her father's papers, in which Julia finds an unmailed letter in her father's handwriting, addressed to a woman named mi mi in Burma. determined to find her father, Julia sets off on a journey to the address on the letter and arrives in the village of Kalaw. in a village tea house, she is welcomed by an old man named U Ba, who claims to have met her father four years ago. U Ba proceeds to tell Julia, verbatim, the story that her father told him four years ago, knowing that his daughter would one day come, seeking the truth of his past. tin Win, Julia's father and the boy in U Ba's story, was abandoned by his superstitious parents, who believed that he was destined to bring them pain. he is raised by his widowed aunt until one day, the 10-year-old tin Win wakes up to a milky fog, then shadows, then nothing. the local doctor could provide no explanation for the sudden blindness. after he is taken in at a monastery, tin Win reclaims the now dark and foreign world when he learns to perceive sounds such as the beating of butterfly wings and the human heart. When he is 14 years old, tin Win meets mi mi, who was born with mangled feet that make it impossible for her to walk. instead, she moves by crawling on all fours or being carried on other people's backs. their connection is immediate, and together, they are complete: tin Win becomes mi mi's feet when he carries her on his back, and she becomes his eyes by painting a picture with her words of the world he cannot see. he feels lighter with her on his back and knows he can never be lost with her whispers and songs in his ears. moving across time and space from modern-day new York to pre-World War ii Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats explores diverse landscapes of filial relationships, 36 imagine cultural divergences, love, health and illness, absurdity, and vision without sight. through tin Win and mi mi's symbiotic love story, sendker shows the connection between suffering and happiness; they are inextricable, interdependent states that cannot exist without the other. By the end of the story, the logical, analytical lawyer inside Julia has lost all influence. she learns to accept her father's story with all its absurdity and learns to forgive him despite questions that remain unanswered. Like her, readers will go on a journey to a distant and sometimes magical place, discover unexpected connections, and see the world differently in the end. Rae Gernant is a senior at valley High School in West des moines, iA, where she has been involved in orchestra, golf, synchronized swimming, and mock trial. Her hobbies include paper crafts and reading. in the fall, Rae will attend Calvin College, where she plans to major in english secondary education.  Also recommended Wilderness Essays by John Muir this book not only exposes the readers to the beauty of Yosemite and Yellowstone, but also raises questions about why it's important to preserve nature. While most people think of John muir as a naturalist, this book reminded me what a brilliant writer he was. his writing is rich and complex, full of similes and metaphors-"the weather grows in beauty, like a flower," or "the great central plain is ... one golden cake." What better way to learn to write personal narratives than to read muir's essays? -James Zheng, 17, CA Mnemosyne: The Long Traverse by Carolyn Clark many people might associate poetry with dry praises of dead kings or superficial poems about "true love." But in Mnemosyne: The Long Traverse, Carolyn Clark uses simple yet elegant language to tie together the ancient world's majesty and the modern world's warmth. Blending mythology and personal history, this book takes the reader on a poetic journey that is both sublime and real. -Zelin liu, 14, Md may/Jun 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014

Big Picture
In My Own Words
Imagine, Design, Build
A Schematic of the Possible
My Life as an Architect
Blueprint for the Future
DesertSol: A Model of Sustainability
Across Space and Time
The Art of Summer
Selected Opportunities & Resources
A Digital Canvas
Rising to the Technovation Challenge
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014

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