Diversity spotlight Thursday is a meme created by Aimal@Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you discuss three books: one that you’ve read, one that’s on your TBR and one that hasn’t been released yet.
Hands down one of the best Fantasy series out there. If you’ve read my review of The Obelisk Gate, then you know that the sequel did not disappoint me – but quite the opposite, really. Warning : you’ll be lost at first. Get over it. Go on.
Hell, I’m just gonna share my review here, okay? Okay.
What you know for sure is that you’re not a child. You don’t want to know what would happen if you were (this world is nasty). But you walk. Restlessly, you walk. At this point you’re not sure it means something. You go on, though, because you’re intrigued. Orogene, guardian, pirate, commless, you’re part of the humanity anyway (they don’t think you are). You’re no stranger to rules (death awaits if you are) yet life destroys them at times (this is the way the world ends, again). Sometimes you wish info-dumping existed (confusion is you) but not anymore (you just wait, it makes sense).
(Friends do not exist. The fulcrum is not a school. Grits are not children. Orogenes are not people. Weapons have no need of friends.)
They lied, didn’t they? (of course they did) The rage (or is it revenge) threatens to close your throat at any moment but you are strong, so go on, go on, just a little longer.
Perhaps you think it wrong that I dwell so much on the horrors, the pain, but pain is what shapes us, after all. We are creatures born of heat and pressure and grinding, ceaseless movement. To be still is to be… not alive.
You’re not sure how it happened but you laugh. It’s a strange thing, that laugh. It takes you by surprise (the tears are never far).
But this is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
For the last time.
You understand, finally, and you’re amazed (it hurts, though).
TW – Child death
~ Blurb for the English translation (Cockroaches)
Imagine being born into a world where everything about you the shape of your nose, the look of your hair, the place of your birth designates you as an undesirable, an inferior, a menace, no better than a cockroach, something to be driven away and ultimately exterminated. Imagine being thousands of miles away while your family and friends are brutally and methodically slaughtered. Imagine being entrusted by your parents with the mission of leaving everything you know and finding some way to survive, in the name of your family and your people.
Scholastique Mukasonga’s Cockroaches is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda the story of a happy child, a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. A vivid, bitterwsweet depiction of family life and bond in a time of immense hardship, it is also a story of incredible endurance, and the duty to remember that loss and those lost while somehow carrying on. Sweet, funny, wrenching, and deeply moving, Cockroaches is a window onto an unforgettable world of love, grief, and horror.
So I’m cheating a little because I actually started Inyenzi ou les cafards at the beginning of the week.
I read 15 pages.
I cried 3 times.
More time passes, more I feel this urge to read about the world around me, to listen to what marginalized voices have to say – and I think everyone should. There’s something I noticed when I read Homegoing and started talking about it around me : there are subjects many people think they know when they really don’t. Slavery. Colonization. Rwanda Genocide. As white living in Western countries, we have so many fallacies to deconstruct, so many #WellActually to push back down our throats because the truth is, we don’t know. And I’m saying that as someone who sees herself as quite educated. I still Don’t. Know. SHIT.
* links to the English translation *
Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.
How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?
Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.
And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.
While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?
What? June is soon, right? Soonish? More seriously : #OWNVOICES MUSLIM REP. If you think it’s not enough to preorder S.K. Ali‘s coming of age novel right away, well we’re not living in the same world.
Tell me, have you read any of these books? What are your most anticipated diverse releases? What are your favorite diverse reads? Tell us in the comment section!
See you next week!