"im not racist i hate everyone equally" yeah, hey buddy how’s the sixth grade goin
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.
…in alphabetical order by author’s last name…..
1. Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology. Because queer theory….it’s really important to me. And it makes me feel happy and my brain feels alive and everything feels valid, particularly when it’s coming from Ahmed. Who is a queer woman of color, and she’s brilliant, and as the title implies, she’s all about queerness as world-building and world-fragmenting and your body’s perception of the world. She’s a very emotional academic in how she writes and that’s what I want to be one day.
2. James Baldwin, Another Country. The first one I read was Giovanni’s Room but I read Another Country directly after and it’s really what made me fall in love with Baldwin so deeply. The prose is incredible, but more than that it really feels like Baldwin’s loneliest novel, not just because the apparent main character kills himself 1/3 of the way through the book; everyone is hopelessly locked away in their sad chambers, hurting one another, flung about by a racist homophobic society determined to bring chaos whatever peace they can find. And it’s so mercilessly unfair. The final image of the book is a black woman trying to comfort her flighty, emotional, racist in a leftist 50s kind of way white boyfriend. It’s so goddamn unfair. But Baldwin’s hope is always what makes your heart moan. All these characters who value love and connection and hope that will somehow bring them out of a backwards timeline
3. Agatha Christie, After the Funeral. It will be my longest literary relationship, as I’ve been devouring her books since around 5th grade. All her problematic aspects aside (and there are plenty), Christie is an absolutely brilliant constructor of mystery plotlines, and After the Funeral, which is an underrated work of her’s, sprang to mind in its ability to show you a scene and make you not even realize how little of the full picture you’re seeing, how many assumptions you’re making automatically, until the end of the novel.
4. Roald Dahl, The BFG. Roald Dahl taught me to love reading. Everything’s whimsical with plenty of delicious darkness for creepy children like me to be scared of but also covet. For some reason The BFG was my favorite, I read it over and over. Maybe someday I’ll figure out why that was.
5. Andre Dubus III, House of Sand and Fog. This was in a very real way the first “adult” book I read. Which is so bizarre. This is not a good transition book for children, I’ll throw that out there right now. I turned out relatively okay but like….this was a weird way for me to start reading mature books. I was drawn to the immense tragedy of it. I remember really liking it, I wonder if it holds up.
6. George Eliot, Middlemarch. I read this for the first time last semester and i can’t stop thinking about it, so on it goes. I never knew crusty victorian novels could be so emotionally present and just…just indescribably beautiful. It’s an incandescent novel, really everyone should read it. It’s huge but it’s worth it.
7. Maria McCann, As Meat Loves Salt. Another one I think about all the time, so here it is! I love historical fiction. I love gay stuff. I love when gay stuff can be somehow kind of coarse and gross, which that title is and a lot of the period detailing (English Civil War) provides. This one’s a real cake-and-eat-it-to situation, in that it sort of works as a something akin to a trashy gay romance novel with hot sex, except there’s nothing trashy about it, it’s beautifully written, the characters are really complicated and sort of vile and unlovable in certain regards, the sensation of period authenticity is incredible, and there’s a real cosmic angst to all of this that makes it’s turn to tragedy so effective. There really needs to be a beautiful, stately, impeccably shot film version of this, and I want to direct it. It’s the only film I really want to make. That and Another Country.
8. Flannery O’Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. Speaking of all things coarse and vile, I felt really cool and content when I could confidently say my two favorite writers were James Baldwin and Flannery O’Connor (that’s still probably true), cause they both have such forceful personalities and lives that make them work as legendary figures. O’Connor is of course mind-blowingly talented, and is one of the rare sources of perverse grotesquerie (see next entry) that comes from a very feminine place and energy (a very specific incarnation of femininity tho, southern church-going but world-hating and non-people-pleasing femininity).
9. James Purdy, Narrow Rooms. I had a wild whirlwind summer romance with James Purdy’s work, and I’m not entirely sure he’s fit to be on this list, but I’ve been thinking a lot about him so I put him down here. I read Narrow Rooms, was astonished and enraptured, thennnn quickly found out a lot of awful problematic things about Purdy (racist, sexist, seems like an awful guy in general) that make his disappearance from the queer literary canon make a smidge more sense. So I’m sort of not on the Purdy bandwagon. But Narrow Rooms, boy, is a trip. Late 70s novel about a group of four men in a conservative rural midwestern town in an incredibly twisted sadomasochistic set of interlocking gay relationships. Lots of really rough sex, really gross violence, and the central character is nicknamed “The Renderer,” as in rendering fat from animals, which I think epitomizes the weird gross sexiness of the book quite well. John Waters wrote the introduction to a collection of Purdy’s short stories, and Purdy very neatly is John Waters, just with far less comedy. Unlike Waters, it seems like he might not be joking all the time. This book specifically has some stuff in common with Hannibal the television series, but, alas, Hannibal is also way more of a comedy.
10. John Steinbeck, East of Eden. In high school my favorite books were mostly long historical epics written by white men (I could have replaced this with Pillars of the Earth or A Tale of Two Cities, roughly the same time and set of interests in my life). I’ve since course-corrected and all but stopped considering those other two among my very favorite books, but East of Eden is very special. I’m sure I’m not wrong on that. It’s the only like “grand classic novel” that I do regularly return to and read passages from if I feel like it. Kate is possibly my favorite character in all of American literature.
tagged by theelusiverecluse
If whats happening in Ferguson was happening to an all white community, it would be called a dystopian novel
#and all actions against the police would be heroic and daring#and the plucky white protags would be encouraged to use violence to stop the injustice
Racism and ignorance clearly evident in our society, as experienced by my friend’s sister. This is what her potential dorm roommate, whom she had never met or talked to before, tweeted about her.
"Today I googled my last name and found this as one of the search results. Apparently, just by looking at my profile picture, I am Indian and I can barely speak english. This, my friends, is a prime example of racial profiling. I am an American citizen. I was born in Houston, Texas. My roots are not from India but from Africa. My parents are Algerian. I am Algerian American. English is my primary language and it is a struggle for me to speak my parent’s native tongue. My name is pronounced exactly as it is spelled. I wear a hijab (a head covering), and not a niqab ( a facial covering that excludes the eyes) though I do admire, respect, and find the beauty in all those who do choose to wear the niqab. But this girl is right, I probably would have had a heart attack living with a person who could not, and refused to, respect me and my beliefs. I can only thank God for an opening of a single room shortly after they assigned this roommate, way before I knew she had posted any of this. Alhamdullilah. I also thank God for being born in Houston, one of the most multicultural cities in the United States, and not experiencing racism like this everyday of my life.
Sunday is my move in day and the start of my college career. This can be nothing but a good sign for the years to come, inshaAllah.
In conclusion, I urge everyone, please, don’t judge a person by their appearances. Racism exists in this nation because we continue to do so. We have to look beyond the covers of appearances and read the texts of their characters. Stand with me and #stopracism.”
She should be banned from life
this is so fucked up