Happy Monday, Readers. Welcome to the first Weekday Scribbles post—a casual look at what we’re reading, some one-off thoughts and commentary on book-world happenings, and chatter about interesting bookish discoveries. This last week I’ve been branching out my reading, finding new favorites, and enjoying browsing through some other creative, bookish content that merits sharing.
Reading Audre Lorde for the First Time
I’ve been trekking into non-fiction, essays, and memoir a lot more recently and earlier last week started on the audiobook for Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. The collection compiles fifteen of Lorde’s writings, spanning across topics of race, class, homophobia, sexism, ageism, and where those ideas intersect across similar planes.
I’m about halfway through and even though this is my first introduction to Lorde’s work, I find myself enchanted with her writing. I believe there’s a fine line often tread when it comes to informative writing. It must teach, but it must also engage, and there’s such a flowing cadence to the way that Lorde presents her ideas it’s almost like reading a piece of narrative fiction. It sucks you in, makes you want to hang on to every little word, every detail. There’s something conversational—as if sitting down with an aunt, or grandmother, listening to her wisdom over Sunday lunch.
Being familiar with Lorde’s name but not necessarily her work, I was also (embarrassingly) shocked about when she was born and when this collection was originally released. When recalling her essay discussing feminism, specifically how Black women and White women are treated (and how the fear of lesbians plays into misogyny and how that’s leveraged against Black, lesbian women) it reads like something written today, not something written years before I was born. Not a lot that has changed in the way that feminism has worked in the favor of White women versus its weaponization against Black and queer women, and the fact that decades after Lorde’s death, this is still something that we’re combating is illuminating to the work left to do.
Thus far, I’m looking forward to parsing more of Audre Lorde’s work after I’m done with this collection of her essays. Having rekindled my love of poetry, I’ll be gearing up to looking into that section of her work next.
DRAGON is an upcoming graphic novel by Saladin Ahmed and Dave Acosta that I saw promo’d on Twitter that honestly looks really, really good. From the Kickstarter:
Dracula is a quintessential staple for horror. I’ve always loved various iterations of the story, from Stoker’s original classic to Van Helsing and Castlevania (both the video games and Netflix show of the same name) and would love to see this stunning looking book in the hands of as many people as possible. The Kickstarter is running until August 6th, with anticipated delivery of DRAGON coming June of 2021, so check it out if you’re interested.
Books as Playlists by LeftOnRead
Music, like literature, is something that I’ve always felt has been essential to my way of living. Marrying those two things together? A perfect match.
So, seeing Jourdan from LeftOnRead releasing her Books as Playlists series, where she pairs a curated playlist that goes along with a recently read and reviewed book, I was instantly sold. Her first pair is for All Boys Aren’t Blue, a memoir exploring the ‘trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys’ by George M. Johnson. Her review is fantastic, and the playlist is full of potent tracks that correspond with each chapter of All Boys Aren’t Blue.
Prudent Girls by Rivers Solomon
Rivers Solomon has been cemented as a favorite author of mine; I devoured their novella, The Deep, a few weeks ago, and have gotten my hands on their novel The Unkindness of Ghosts, for near-future reading. Recently, their new short story, Prudent Girls, was published by the New York Times Magazine as a part of the Decameron Project—a collection of short stories revolving around the current unprecedented times of Covid-19 and featuring pieces from not only Solomon, but twenty-eight other authors. Inspired by The Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio during the height of the Bubonic Plague, the collection’s tag line ‘When reality is surreal, only fiction can make sense of it,’ feels particularly fitting.
Solomon’s piece specifically (currently the first and only I’ve read from the collection, though I think I’ll be looking through the other pieces between my other reading this month) centers Jerusha, a young Jehova’s Witness seeking escape with her apostate mother amid the outbreak of the pandemic after the husband of a woman she’s babysitting for assaults her and kills his wife.
It’s a piece that’s only seventeen pages, but much like Solomon’s The Deep, length is not an indicator of depth. This story is less about the pandemic and more about the lives that continue to go on during it—the circumstances surrounding Jerusha’s stay with her ‘Aint Rita,’ her desire to be free and to free her mother, even the way that her assaulter attempts to frame their encounter to his wife before killing her—layers together a snapshot of the little Texas town that Jerusha lives in, her wants and desires, and her willingness to do what it takes to gain the freedom she wants.
Found any exciting new reads lately? Unexpected bookish discoveries? Share below~
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