Once upon a time, Michael Katakis lived in a place of big dreams, bright colours and sleight of hand. That place was America.
One night, travelling where those who live within illusions should never go, he stared into the darkness and glimpsed a faded flag where shadows gathered, revealing another America. It was a broken place, bred from fear and distrust - a thousand shards of glass - filled with a people who long ago had given away all that was precious; a people who had been sold, for so long, a foreign betrayal that finally came from within, and for nothing more than a handful of silver.
These essays, letters and journal entries were written as a farewell to the country Michael loves still, and to the wife he knew as his 'True North'. A powerful and personal polemic, A Thousand Shards of Glass is Michael's appeal to his fellow citizens to change their course; a cautionary tale to those around the world who idealise an America that never was; and, crucially, a glimpse beyond the myth, to a country whose best days could still lie ahead.
John Purcell's Review: I loved this little book. It was sent to me by Simon and Schuster Australia. I get sent a lot of books but I suspect this one was sent to me the reader not me the bookseller. Whoever thought to send it probably guessed I would love it.
Michael Katakis, who I have never heard of before, now feels like an old friend. His concerns about the US have a ring of truth to them. His love of life in the face of tragedy is heroic. He has loved and has been loved in a way which will make others envious. It is by no means a perfect book. It is human. Approachable. It invites conversation and asks you to walk with it. I was angered, saddened, enriched and inspired by this little book. Thank you, Michael. (and the thoughtful folk at Simon and Schuster)
About the Author
Author and photographer Michael Katakis has travelled extensively for the past thirty-five years, writing about and photographing a wide range of cultures and geographic locations. His books include Photographs and Words with Dr Kris Hardin, Traveller: Observations from an American in Exile, The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, Sacred Trusts: Essays on Stewardship and Responsibility, and Excavating Voices: Listening to Photographs of Native Americans. Katakis has exhibited his work at the British Library, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the International Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. In 1991 the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C., acquired Michael's portrait of Maya Lin for their collection.
Great book, so much that is happening in the US is also fair comment for Australia.
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 1st March 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.5 x 14.5 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.28