Bookish and not so Bookish Mostly-LGBT Thoughts

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I really hope that ChristineLaura and Cayce won’t mind, but I’m combining Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts and LGBT Month this week. I really have little to no time to write more with these dumb exams!

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1. I accidentally read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe before the LGBT-month read-along. Just as well, though, seeing as the read-along is in the worst week of exams. It’s a great book though, and I’m sure everyone will love it.

2. This week’s challenge is poetry! I did some blackout poetry from Yes, I am! Most of my LGBT books are e-books so I took the only one that I have here in hard-copy. This was easier said than done. It is from a piece called Nineteen Sixty-Seven by Peter Krummeck in the anthology Yes, I am! writing by South African gay men, compiled by Malan and Johaardien. Hope it makes sense to you!

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3. I wanted to do a post about LGBT in South African fiction… and then I couldn’t come up with any. That’s a little awkward, right? I must be missing something. Fellow S’Affers, can you think of any? Particularly in YA fiction. I can think of one of two characters in some of our literary novels, but none that are recent.

4. Here is a non-fiction reading suggestion: Atrium is the free publication of Northwestern University’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program. Check the latest issue (issue 12) and read In the Manner of a Bad Girl on page 10. It is about the fa’afafine (transgender community, but not exactly) of Samoa, and addresses some really salient points, for example the way that Samoa’s fa’afafine do not face the same struggles as LGBTQI individuals in other countries, largely because they are seen as a normal community within their society.

5. One of the things I’ve been studying for exams is Urology. The chapter on intersex worries me every single time. Not only because physiologically and surgically it’s quite challenging, but also because I don’t like the way it is addressed in South Africa. We are pushed to help parents “pick a gender” for the child as soon after birth as possible, and male sex is given preference if the phallus is “big enough” because these patients are often infertile, and in many South African cultures male infertility is less frowned-upon than female infertility. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH ALL OF THIS. In most European countries, gender assignment does not have to be done immediately: they wait and see so that the child can come into his/her OWN identity. Just because South Africa is a developing country doesn’t mean we need to be backward…

6. I’m reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth on the side. Like, a chapter a day during a study break, but it’s something. I’m quite liking it although I’ve reached the the really shocking part of the book and it makes me want to get on my soapbox. It reads kind of like a memoir, very different from normal YA.

7. Here’s a commercial that I thought was really great. Well done, Varsity College. All universities and colleges should understand this concept. I wish my professors did!

8. I signed up for Armchair BEA. It’s my dream to attend the real thing one day – I mean, books AND NYC? Yes please. But I’m sure Armchair BEA will be fantastic.

9. And finally, this is what my program looks like for the next week, starting today. It’s called Hell Week, and with good reason. Except for the first, these are all practical and oral OSCEs.

THURSDAY: Ophthalmology Final Exam (my favourite rotation, and the exam was awful)

EASTER WEEKEND: studystudystudy. Because Medicine insists on ruining Easter for me.

TUESDAY: Surgery final exam (general/trauma/vascular/head&neck&breast/paeds/neuro)

WEDNESDAY: ENT final exam, Ortho final exam

THURSDAY: Anaesthetics final exam, Urology Final Exam

FRIDAY: Family Medicine final exam

 

A New Generation of LGBT YA

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April is LGBT-month with LauraPlusBooks and FightingDreamer. Although I am studying VERY HARD (I really am), I wanted to get this post in really quickly. I realised a while ago that I haven’t read that many LGBT books. I’ve read quite a few where a secondary character is LGBT (The Mortal Instruments, Mara Dyer, etc) and quite a few short-story collections, like Yes, I am! and OMG QUEER. Then there was Every Day (which is kind of, I don’t know, pansexual?) and Luna.

Recently I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It was incredible (not quite a five-star read, due to some issues I have with the final bit of the book) and while reading I kept thinking how this narrative felt to me like a revolution not only in LGBT writing, but YA in general.

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Ten Things That Should Be Written About

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This post is scheduled a few weeks in advance as I am currently on a rural rotation without decent internet access. Responses to comments will thus be slower than usual. This week with The Broke and The Bookish we discuss our “reading wishlist” – in other words, things we wish authors would write about. Guys, this one was HARD! Obviously I did not want to give away anything that I might be working on (sorry)… I finally came up with some. They’re not all super unique, but I would like these books anyway. So if you want to write them, go for it!

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Book Review: Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

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I don’t really know how to describe Moxyland. It is Science Fiction set in Cape Town, and has FOUR POVs – an art-school drop-out, and activist, an “Aidsbaby” climbing the corporate ladder and a Vlogger/Gamer (basically). Don’t run away from the multiple POVs though, I thought it was quite well done. One can clearly tell the difference between characters, unlike some other books (like The Scorpio Races) where it was easy to get confused between the narrators.

The South Africa in Moxyland is basically a police state that favours big corporations. Technology is everything, and your cellphone determines your level of access. Thus, the homeless without cell phones truly are entirely disenfranchised. Continue reading