I hate to make this book the poster child for books I couldn’t bring myself to finish, but I really like how this photo came out. And that’s where my disappointment stems from, although I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But I couldn’t help it. This was the book next in line for a review, but I didn’t just couldn’t. I’m sorry book gods, I just couldn’t.
I’m trying to catch up on all of my reviews and I will do it, I swear! And yes, this review is of another Sandra Cisneros book. I finished reading “Woman Hollering Creek” before I went to her signing way back in April. I still think about this book every now and then because in these stories is a sense of hope.
I didn’t consider myself a feminist until my last two years in college. It’s not that I was afraid of being seen as a overbearing, opinionated, man-hating woman. In all honesty, I just didn’t get feminism. I didn’t see how feminism benefited me. The feminist ideals that were presented to me before those last two years in college were always in connection with white, middle class women, which I am not.
Jhumpa Lahiri’s first published short story collection and it wins the Pulitzer? Intimidation. That is all I was feeling before reading this book. I was intimidated, but intrigued, and not at all let down by this book.
I have high expectations of any book that is a part of Oprah’s Book Club because I can be easily swayed like that. Edwidge Danticat’s “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” the writer’s first novel published in 1994, is one of those books. While it was a quick read, it certainly did not lack in content.
I’m ashamed to say it, but in my high school days, I thought the only “good” books were written by white male writers. My view of what a “good” book is has changed drastically since then, but at the time, most of what I read for class was written by a white male, so that’s what was ingrained into my reading habits. I had no exposure to any other literature, and I was too naive to seek for more diverse writers on my own. I deeply regret it and even more so after having read Sandra Cisneros’ “Caramelo.”
I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong, so here it goes: I was wrong about comic books and graphics novels not being a legitimate from of literature. But that’s only because I had never read a comic book. I let the limited amount of words deter me from considering the stories as anything of value. I’ve been trying to change this view of mine, and so I started with Jeff Lemire’s “Sweet Tooth.”
With such a bold title, I expected Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to solely touch on the topic of intersex. However, “Middlesex” is so much more than a book about a person’s variation in sexual characteristics. This novel touches on topics such as gender identity, incest, immigration, race, class, and death, among other things.
It’s always exciting when a Latina writer gets published. I could name a list of published Latina writers, but chances are that their names have not been spoken of in many literary circles. I may do a blog post focusing on Latina writers in the future, but for now the focus is on Cristina Henríquez and her novel, “The Book of Unknown Americans.”
Twelve-year-old me loved the idea of going against the crowd and being my own person. While everyone in school was wearing Phat Pharm sneakers, I opted for the classic black-and-white chucks. And while everyone was listening to the latest “Now That’s What I Call Music” mix, I was walking home listening to my mom’s bootleg Beatles CD. I didn’t do it for the sake of being different; I did it because it’s what I liked and what I connected to. I didn’t always have the confidence to settle into my interests, however.