The combination of a souring relationship and another move’s left with me little time to read or blog, but things have stabilized in time for the end of spring and start of summer.
For now I’m living in my hometown, though I’ll be in New York June and July for a summer program and then Chicago again for the rest of the season. I’m glad to have the chance to experience two major cities in a single year, but I’m also looking forward to the day when I can settle down somewhere for longer than a few months.
After focusing on LGBT fiction in March and April, I’ve shifted to reading clusters of books about social and cultural history written by women. In June I’ll transition to life writing, alternating between checking out memoirs and autofiction.
I already have finished Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, and Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others, all of which I can’t recommend highly enough.
I’m currently reading books mixing cultural history and memoir. These works blur the line between politics and everyday life, history and autobiography, and I’ve heard great things about each of the authors, all of who are new to me.
Centered on the experiences of Chinese-American immigrants, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and China Men skillfully interweave life writing, myth, and politics. By contrast, Margo Jefferson’s Negroland examines the social life of the black bourgeoisie through the lens of the author’s upbringing. In Walking with the Comrades, Roy recounts the time she spent with a rebel movement in India resisting the government’s encroachment on their land.
After finishing those books, I’ll shift to Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, as well as Naomi Klein’s No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, and This Changes Everything. It seems obvious to pair together these two authors, and I’ve been keen to check out their work since the start of the year.
While I’m not the biggest fan of consecutively reading an author’s books, it seems to make sense for Klein, since there’s such a clear progression in her thought toward environmentalism.
Unrelated to this month’s theme I’ll also be reading a few authors I’ve come across several times through blogging, including Lidia Yuknavitch and Lucia Berlin. I began listening to The Chronology of Water on audio last night, and so far I’m really enjoying how compelling the memoir’s storytelling is.