Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dear Fantasy, I think we need a break.

Just to clarify, this does mean that I can sleep with other genres.

I'm so sorry. I never thought I'd ever say this. Not in a million years.  But today, I finished The Book Thief, and I was left with this deep, carnal desire to learn more about the world I actually do live in. Though this book was about a fictional German Christian girl, it took place in Nazi Germany, and shed light on the atrocities from a different perspective than that of the Jewish people: the only perspective I'd read about up until now.  It both horrified and fascinated me.

I read the last chapter listening to violin music, sitting at the edge of my bed, biting my finger, thinking about the German families that were involuntarily torn apart during the war. And I want to know more. I am not ashamed to say that I acquired Mein Kampf behind your back.  I want to read it, to get into the mind of someone who could propagate such monstrosity.

Apart from that, I have collected at least 15 other non-fiction books in the past week.  And no, before you ask, none were related to science.  I know you've always been tolerant with my occasional flings with the likes of The Tao of Physics, Decoding Reality and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. But these are real-life accounts with real-life people.

I'll be looking at historical fiction and perhaps alternative history as well.  Not alternative history like your Kushiel's Dart.  As much as I loved it, there was still you stamped across it.  I began Red Plenty today.  In a few days, I imagine I'll know more about the Soviet Union than I ever thought I'd care to.

Don't worry, I won't be gone for good.  I still religiously wear the One Ring and the Great Serpent ring you gave me years ago. Just today, I put a Slytherin Quidditch team poster up on my wall.  But I am, frankly, bored and restless.  I couldn't even make it through Tigana, which according to a number of people whose tastes I share, is amazing.  The Alloy of Law was a bit of a let down, and that was disappointing, because Brandon Sanderson is one of my all-time favourite authors.   The Lies of Locke Lamora was surprisingly lovely, but I really did take way too long to finish it.  Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't be able to put down one of your good pieces.  

So, yes, my dear genre.  I'm calling it off for now.  The only thing really left for me to say is:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

SS - On Women

A beautiful, powerful campaign launched in India, depicting abused goddesses [link]:

An equally touching video is this one on Upworthy.

Also, check out these portraits of women who have lived their lives as men, in Albania [link]:

happens to my son
living within my skin
drinking my cells
my water
my organs
his soft psyche turning cruel.
does he not remember
is half woman.

nayyirah waheed