For Black History Month, I wanted to speak about and praise one of my favorite authors of all time--N. K. Jemisin. In 2016 she became the first black author to win a Hugo award for her book, The Fifth Season--a book I consider a masterpiece. She then repeated that the following year with The Obelisk Gate. She’s brave, bold and outspoken when it comes to issues of race. You will never see her back down. And for this, I admire her greatly.
One of the writers most dear to my heart is Zora Neale Hurston. As a black woman living in the early 1920s, Hurston was a powerful force; fighting against the grain of a dominantly sexist and racist society. This year for Black History Month, I wanted to share what Hurston means to me and why her work is essential to the American experience.
I first read The Sun Also Rises the summer leading up to my junior year of high school. At the time I thought it was great because I thought that Hemingway, both the man and idea, was great. Now I’m a little bit older and know less than I did then. I can still say with confidence that The Sun Also Rises is a great novel, a seminal novel. Without getting into a history lesson on modernist literature, just know that this book was revolutionary. No one had the casual authorial voice of Hemingway in the 1920s.
Sometimes life gets a little too busy to sit down and read a book. Whether it’s family, work, or chores, it’s hard to find even just those few precious minutes. I love stories though. They have been a part of me since I was a little girl. Even my dreams have always been filled with plots and suspense. And if I don’t have at least a few moments to enjoy a good story, I can feel a little stressed. So I turned to audiobooks. The wonderful thing about them, is you can keep working, cleaning, driving, and doing whatever it is you need to get done, and still enjoy a good story.
The Women in the Castle is a novel about returning to life following the devastation of WWII. Three women come together in a crumbling Bavarian castle to navigate the new terrain of their lives. The novel skips through time and perspective as these three very different German women come to terms with the choices they made before, during, and after the war.