Category: Race

Mar 18 2018

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

What a terrific book. What it lacked in pathos for me, it more than made up for in the breadth of its empathy and historical vision. Structured as eight short stories and an epilogue connected by their cast and timeline, Lovecraft Country plunges an ordinary black family of the 1950s and their friends into the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/18/lovecraft-country-by-matt-ruff/

Dec 23 2017

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

I really liked this book, with one huge exception, which I’ll get to in a minute. It’s a very accurate depiction of life among the jetset in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, which I grew up lifestyle-adjacent to as an upper middle-class kid in Malaysia. Much has been written about how South and Southeast Asia …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/23/crazy-rich-asians-crazy-rich-asians-1-by-kevin-kwan/

Dec 08 2017

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

What has stayed with me in the months since I read The Ballad of Black Tom? The sense of teeming New York in the 1920s, the deft characterizations of the divides among black and white, the delicious irony of seeing an H.P. Lovecraft tale told from a black point of view. The story is eventually …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/08/the-ballad-of-black-tom-by-victor-lavalle-2/

Sep 11 2017

Underground Airlines by Ben H Winters

As a young Asian girl with shallow roots in Virginia and a voracious reading appetite, I was absolutely seduced by Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. Once I settled permanently in America, moving north over the course of a decade from Virginia to DC to Maryland, widening my circle of colleagues and friends, and becoming …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/11/underground-airlines-by-ben-h-winters-2/

Sep 06 2017

Kindred by Octavia E Butler

I’m not ordinarily a fan of editions that feel compelled to shoehorn critical essays of the novel into the same volume, but I must say that Robert Crossley did provide me with a significant insight into a thing that had been bothering me about the book: Dana’s occasional and exceedingly grating naivete. About 40% of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/06/kindred-by-octavia-e-butler/

Nov 14 2016

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

I picked up this book hoping for a little comfort after the recent elections but found something else instead: stark truth served up as satire. The stark truth is rarely comforting but — and this is why the book merits four stars from me rather than three — in Paul Beatty’s hands, it is not …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/11/14/the-sellout-by-paul-beatty/

Sep 09 2016

Fresh Off The Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang

I’m a fan of the charming ABC comedy of the same name, which was how I first heard of this memoir, and was taken aback to discover that Eddie Huang himself had very negative opinions of the show. But then I read this book, and I get it. Mr Huang had an abusive childhood, and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/09/09/fresh-off-the-boat-a-memoir-by-eddie-huang/

Jun 20 2016

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter is three hundred pages of wonderful, unadulterated squee. It’s a companion to the musical that I’ve been listening to nearly non-stop since last September, a documentation of the development of a show that’s clearly going into the canon of American theater and has already burst the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/06/20/hamilton-the-revolution-by-lin-manuel-miranda-and-jeremy-mccarter/

Feb 11 2016

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I thought that Lagoon would be the first book I read by Nnedi Okorafor. Or maybe The Book of Phoenix, which a friend had strongly recommended. Turns out the first was Binti, one of a new line of novellas published electronically and on paper by Tor.com. I have it on paper, courtesy of a surprisingly …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/02/11/binti-by-nnedi-okorafor/

Aug 31 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I gained an incredible amount of depth and nuance from re-reading this book as a minority member of American society with African-American friends and neighbors and co-workers, with firsthand experience now of their culture and struggles, as opposed to my first encounter with To Kill A Mockingbird when I was a 13 year-old member of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/08/31/to-kill-a-mockingbird-by-harper-lee/