The purpose of an alternate-reality novel is not just to point out the differences between our situation and the what-ifs, but more jarringly to show the similarities. And that is what I found to be the value (and the horror) of Underground Airlines, because as I read I found myself asking, “But how is this REALLY any different from what black Americans are dealing with in our reality?”
I think that post-war novels deserve as much attention as war-time novels. In fact, post-war novels may even be more important. War-time novels show us the atrocities, and the indomitable human spirit that survives it; but post-war novels show us what happens when those down-trodden spirits have to rebuild, often under the boot of the victors.
Kalyana is a story of womanhood, and the invisible bonds thereof. Trigger warning for themes of abuse, which Khelawan handles with candour and sensitivity. I won’t say too much more of this in an effort not to spoil it for future readers.
I’ve been trying to find the right name for this particular kind of book, and the best I can come up with is “saga” – you know, those books that usually span a few generations, or at least several different stages of a character’s life. They are usually historical fiction, but I find that whatContinue reading “Books To Read If You’re In The Mood For A Saga”
I didn’t want to know that the man with the compound skull fracture had fallen into a sewer drain while being chased by the police because he was the man that had been scamming poor people out of their grant money for months. I didn’t want to know that the man with the gangrenous armContinue reading “Sometimes I Don’t Want To Know”
Before reading Black Dove White Raven, my knowledge of Ethiopian history was confined to the few chapters in high school history about Italy’s onslaught upon Ethiopia during WWII.
A review of Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee, as imagined in a world where To Kill A Mockingbird never existed; and therefore GSaW did not become an instant bestseller based purely upon its history.
When I was asked by Figure 1 which one piece of medical equipment I valued above all others, I said “my hearing”. We were taught from the very beginning that a good history was our first step to an accurate diagnosis, and I have always valued a physician who LISTENS: to their patients, their students, their allies and their contemporaries.
Are biographies supposed to build up the heroes in our eyes? Or reveal them as the flawed humans they are? Or, are they supposed to give us the facts and nothing else? (If that’s the case, then some of my favourite biographies are interminably flawed.) Nobody wants to read a biased biography, but there were times that I felt as though the author was another intellectual who would never give Salk the acceptance he craved.
It’s kind of sad how few books are truly diverse. When I was going through my books, I noticed that although a lot of books had diverse characters, many of them were fairly flat and seemed to be little more than tokens. I mean, it’s kind of like movies having the token female scientist and then thinking they’re sorted for diversity. Uhm, no. Not that this is at all a groundbreaking realisation, so moving on to the books: