Rachel Corrie, a peace activist from Olympia, Washington, was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003 when an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer crushed her beneath its wheels. She had been standing between the bulldozer and a Palestinian family's home. Her death got considerable media attention; after all, it's not every day an unarmed American woman is killed in the Middle East. In Let Me Stand Alone, Corrie's family has cobbled together her writings, from the first time she picked up a pen and seriously wrote, to her final email to her father just days before her death. The poems, essays, lists, and emails form a complete picture of a woman who altered her life to make the changes she sought for the world. The words and drawings are removed from the politics that led to her death, and the reader is invited into her bedroom, her backyard, and where she was living in the Gaza Strip as she writes. It's an intimate portrait of a woman whose death has been rehashed in the news, used as a rallying cry, and explained away. In these pages, Rachel Corrie the person emerges from Rachel Corrie the headline. It turns out Corrie would have made a hell of a writer; even her earliest jottings show true promise for her as a wordsmith. That's the loss the world would not have realized without this book.
Thu., April 24, 7 p.m., 2008