Tree of Life Review



AIRMAIL: Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project by Jessica Falcone

COLUMN: Storiedmusic — The Night I Walked Out by DJ T’challah

NOVEL EXCERPT: In a State of Partition by Aneesha Capur

UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes — Art, Yoga, and Abu Ghraib

Up the Creek

What Would the Buddha Do?

Why is the planned construction of a Buddha statue—taller than three Statue of Liberties stacked one on top of the other—causing the disenfranchisement of poor Indian farming families? How did a symbol of love come to cause so much suffering?

Airmail columnist Jessica Falcone sets out to find an answer to those questions in her column What Would the Buddha Do?

On the sixtieth anniversary of the partition of India and Pakistan, Aneesha Capur writes eloquently about the effects an artificial line on a map has on families who live on the wrong side in an excerpt from her novel, In a State of Partition.

And reporter Bijan Bayne talks with author and lecturer Sandra Wilson about the Taj Mahal, voted one of the seven new wonders of the world.

“Like most people,” says Bayne, “I knew the sound byte about Shah Jahan building the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife who had died giving birth to their thirteenth child. That alone seemed to be undeniable proof of the quality of their relationship. What I hadn’t appreciated then, but do now, is that the Taj Mahal was built within a culture that kept women in harems, denied them public authority, and valued them primarily as being necessary for procreation and as bargaining chips in treaty negotiations.

It is mind boggling that in this time, Mumtaz Mahal inspired what we know as the Taj Mahal. It also is important that Shah Jahan, in addition to his strong love, was sure enough of his own position as Emperor to build the breathtaking mausoleum. ”

Back in the present, DJ T’challah brings us into his world where the strip club becomes a microcosm of the world at large, and where, among other things, he deals with racism and the wrath of his boss.

And staff writer Angela Ajayi shares her provocative interview with Eware X. Osayande. A central figure in the social justice movement out of the city of Philadelphia, PA, Osayande is co-founder and director of POWER (People Organized Working to Eradicate Racism), a grass-roots initiative that educates and empowers participants to resist oppression.

Osayande’s latest book of poems, .Blood Luxury., brings the reader to Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria and back to the U.S. in a hard look at the cost of global capitalism.

In mid-September, Wild River Review will continue its series, The Other Side of Abu Ghraib, following yoga teacher Jennifer Schelter to Istanbul where she beings to transcribe the detainees’ testimony. In addition, we’ll talk to Marine Warrant Officer and artist Michael Fay, one of only two active-duty combat artists currently serving in the United States Marine Corps, and photographer Suzanne Opton about their very different portraits of soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Their work is exhibited at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA through October 21, and can be seen online at

Joy E. Stocke

Joy E. Stocke

Joy E. Stocke, Executive Editor & Founder

Joy E. Stocke has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and has written about and lectured widely on her travels in Turkey and Greece, as well as religion, ancient and modern.

In addition to a travel memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights, she is working on her second book of poems set in Greece, and a novel set in the U.S., Germany, and Crete.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics/Journalism, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with William Irwin Thompson at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. She is founding partner of Writers Corner USA, where she consults with writers at all levels, specializing in book proposals and book length manuscripts.

PEN WORLD VOICES: Language Within Silence — An Interview with Norwegian Writer Per Petterson
PEN WORLD VOICES: Tonight We Rest Here — An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
SPOTLIGHT: Arabic from Left to Right — An Interview with Saad Abulhab
SPOTLIGHT: Fly Me to the Moon — A Conversation with Mathematician and Artist, Ed Belbruno
SPOTLIGHT: The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib (Part 1) — The Detainees’ Quest for Justice
SPOTLIGHT: Poetry, Science, and the Big Bang — John Timpane Goes to Cambridge
SPOTLIGHT: Rumi and Coke — An Excerpt from Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey
QUARK PARK: Of Algorithms, Google & Snow Globes — An Interview with Computer Scientist David Dobkin, Dean of Faculty at Princeton University
QUARK PARK: The Scientist as Rebel — Freeman Dyson Talks About Nuclear Weapons, Space Travel, and the Future
QUARK PARK: The Solace of Vacant Spaces — Interview with Peter Soderman
QUARK PARK: Music in Stone — Sculptor Jonathan Shor
UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes