Perhaps I’ll soon have the capacity to see the silver lining in my experiences that marked the month of March; for now, I certainly know that March has emphasized the importance of good friends and books, as well as cats of course, yet once again.
What does it mean to love a homeland yet not be able to fully return? Eleftheriou asks in her book, and how can one express love for the same sex in a culture that doesn’t recognize its existence? How does one deal with the liberal privilege of labeling grief over such a cultural denial as inconsequential? Joanna’s insight into the dynamics of love and loss as one seeks a sense of belonging is moving and captivating and guided our conversation about her book.
I picked Kamali’s latest novel for Iran because I have heard a lot of Kamali who was born to Iranian parents in Turkey. She’s traveled extensively and lived in Kenya, Germany, Turkey, Iran, and the United States. Her multifaceted identity axiomatically complicates her positionality as an Iranian writer only, making The Stationery Shop the perfect novel for my project.
Folklorn is a contemporary origin story that seamlessly weaves Korean folklore within a narrative of identity, migration, and home.
My ultimate goal here as a voracious reader is to delve right into the literary scene(s) and spaces created by Asian writers–which I’ve been missing out on all these years. Eventually, I’d like to complete a “World Bookshelf Challenge” at the end of which I will have read at least one contemporary text from each country around the world, but let’s see how this particular reading list goes.
Despite everything, 2020 has been an exciting year that introduced us to wonderful new writers who will possibly be remembered as the greatest writers of our times.
Minae is able to move beyond all the ideologies, illusions, and the pressure to belong, which, after twenty-years liberates her. The original version of An I-Novel, published in 1995, mixes Japanese and English seamlessly, creating a literary work that reflects its narrator’s desire to find her true self. Like the novel we hold in our hands, Minae is audacious and multifaceted, and she does not fit into a box.
As I move on to a new month, I also remember all the things that brought some sunshine to my days such as my brilliant students, my cats, family/friends who were there for me when I needed them, and of course, the interesting books and posts that I got to read in the past two months.