“Beverly Gologorsky may be our wisest chronicler of the lives of working-class women, shining her light on the deepest truths as only a profoundly gifted novelist can do. Can You See the Wind? is a stunningly moving story about the devastation of the Vietnam War on a single family. It is also a story of courage, resilience, friendship, and unbreakable love.”
“A riveting story that retrieves for us all a piece of our history—a few transformational years between 1967 and 1971—the overlapping crises of racism and war, struggles for peace, Black liberation, and early feminist awakenings—all against formidable odds. Gologorsky weaves the complex threads into a tight fabric of gorgeous, spare writing about political resistance, a passionate love affair, and a family saga—a story of our collective past told through the lives of unforgettable characters. And in a kind of miraculous way it becomes as well a story of our own time—its upheavals, uncertainties, and commitments, the slow pace of change and the redemption of action and of love.”
“Women and poets see the truth arrive./Then it is acted out,/The lives are lost, and all the newsboys shout,” wrote Muriel Rukeyser. Taut with the urgency of direct action, Can You See the Wind? indelibly portrays one such seer caught up in the 1960s anti-war movement. Naive and brave, self-doubting yet determined, young Josie bursts with a passion to interrupt the destruction in Southeast Asia; for her, the catastrophe is deeply personal, given how many boys from her hardscrabble Bronx neighborhood are getting drafted or enlisting. Of particular note is this novel’s honesty about the price of activism, given the stranglehold of all those ligatures of injustice—gendered, racial, and class-based—that have choked American life from that day to this. Tragic and tender, furious and inspired, Can You See the Wind? movingly suggests that the “better world” we long for is not an object in the future but a space of freedom and connection forged by struggle in the present.”
“Beverly Gologorsky brings a clarity of vision and purpose to this extraordinary novel - a story about the complexities and love that both bring families, lovers and comrades together and tears them apart. This is a book that renders the urgency of political movements as well as moments of individual contemplation. That she does so in breathtaking prose is a testament to her brilliance and artistry.”
“With her usual honest, frank and perceptive style, Beverly Gologorsky has written a penetrating novel about the era of the Vietnam War and Black Panthers that explores the moral complexities of political activism and how they interact with love and family. Can You See the Wind? is a riveting read.”
“The author’s prose sings, but her agenda to explore the political vagaries of the time undermines the character development. Readers will nevertheless appreciate this apt depiction from the front lines of a difficult time in the nation’s history.”
“The sections of the book that describe the tender and volatile relationship between Melvin and Josie are among the best sections in the book, though there are other sections that are also powerful, including one that takes place in a courtroom, another behind bars and yet another in a Black church.
Reading “Can You See the Wind?” can and does feel like watching a newsreel that captures in soundbites and images the topics of the day, from riots in the streets and underground cells to Attica and women’s marches on the Pentagon. The novel races along, though now and then it also slows down long enough for the characters to sit side-by-side and talk, watch TV, share food, enjoy sex, think deep thoughts about the past, the present and the future.”