During my two years of writerly silence, my life and thoughts were frequently focused on increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity, and, because my soul is built around bookish thoughts, much of that translated into bookish action. In my own reading, I continue to make it a greater and more intentional part of my lens to center authors of color. There is no way I can possibly shoulder the expectation (self-imposed or otherwise) of writing full reviews of some of the gems I have explored in the past two years, but I would like to at least call them to mention here. Let this series of posts serve as strong recommendations.
Essays and Memoirs Edition
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
Gay is a poet by nature as well as training, now writing short essayettes (did I make that word up?) about everyday delights. Just what the doctor ordered in times of existential dread.
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
The author writes the story of her family by telling the story of their New Orleans East home. It is a multigenerational story of love of place, of familial pride, and of a New Orleans the world often tries to ignore.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Machado eviscerates with her writing in this memoir that is its own form – part free verse, part dramatic monologue, part late night confession. Carmen Maria Machado speaks of her experience as a queer Latinx who finds herself in an abusive relationship and how the intersectionality of her identities inform her sense of self.
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
Anthony Ray Hinton was one of the extraordinary beneficiaries of the work of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative. Wrongly accused and languishing on death row for years, Hinton writes the story of his life and learnings, experiences most of us will thankfully never have but from which all of us should learn.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
Scaachi Koul might make you pee a little with laughter – I feel it is my duty as a fellow human to warn you. With acerbic wit, Koul tells of her experiences as a brown woman in Canada, always feeling a little out of place and simultaneously invisible and all-too-visible.