My son can’t decide if he thinks my laptop wallpaper is cute or stressful.
Its a kitten either trying not to fall off something or trying to climb on something. I like the picture because I liked that the cat had gotten itself into something or was about to get itself into something. I can be like that. I can’t always be happy just chillin, I have to be making my own entertainment.
Two on a theme again this week:
A book by a female or author of color that won a literary award in 2018
Hello, Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly
2018 winner of the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature
Good middle grade novels, especially involving middle schoolers like this one does, always involve a whole heap of uncomfortable awkwardness poured into a relatively unique situation, which is exactly what this book is. It’s about kids who don’t fit into molds coming together through an almost emergency situation and friendships in common. And, even better, which is what the market is looking for right now, one of the perspective characters is a deaf girl. More engendering empathy. Another child, Virgil, is Latin American, and he isn’t as effusive as the rest of his family. Another one who talks about how he doesn’t fit in. And, slight spoiler alert, he has a crush on the deaf girl, which is also excellent. It’s a great kids book and was a quick read for me. I hope it doesn’t count as like a cheat read because I have some Coretta Scott King award winners on tap for this year. Although that category specifies children’s or middle grade. This category doesn’t. Newbery Medal winners are always worth reading, though, and this could possibly go on the list of what I might share with my son.
How Long til Black Future Month, NK Jemisin
Winner of the 2018 Hugo Award for The Stone Sky
Now, possibly Hello Universe could have been a cheat read if I also hadn’t tackled this one. I have been wanting to read NK Jemisin but I haven’t wanted to commit myself to her science fiction novels. Even though they have been recommended to me as sci fi/fantasy that isn’t based on white European medieval social structure or heteronormative narratives. I wanted to taste her work and I am working on my own short stories, so it’s always a good idea to read what the masters are putting out.
I actually read the introduction, which gave me hope as a writer for two reasons: one, she didn’t come into her writing prime until she was older than I am now, which is good because I am just starting out and I get into this idea that other people got into their glory faster than I would ever hope to. If there’s even a glory for me to be had in this. I can’t assume that. And second, that she used the word sharted, and it wasn’t edited out and it was allowed to stay there as a sign to me that this book was worth reading. On top of, you know, all her accolades from people who are allowed to give meaningful ones. She was talking about sharting out science fiction that was more the stuff that white guys churn out to get noticed in a market that wasn’t ready for diverse voices. In case your shart curiosity was piqued, which mine would have been.
Some of these I really loved, like Red Dirt Witch (one that many others on the reviews enjoyed) Valedictorian, Cuisine des Memoirs, L’Alchimista, and Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Beneath Still Waters. Some of them got away from me, like science fiction can for me, and I get a little lost. Maybe because the stuff that is more out there to me isn’t as interesting so my brain stops participating. It happened with the PKD book. I wondered if other reviewers had a similar experience and they really didn’t seem to. The stories that I enjoyed I noticed had more of a human element to them. They were good, though, fantastical, creative, sharp in its portrayal of race and class. I think Red Dirt Witch is popular because its about black people seeing the future of the human rights movement and becoming hopeful that the world can change for them. And not just, you know, a black person in the white house, but the realities of the riots and protests.
I had this on audio to work through it, but it had more to do with the genre than her writing. When she really has the page space to spin out her world building I might have to pay harder attention because I imagine it is extensive and cool.
Clearly both of these women are award winning authors in their premises and stories.
I really read too much for the next two posts, so stay tuned. Still binge reading.