Category: Racism

May 19 2018

Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland

Wow, I didn’t even know about the firestorm over this book and the author and her Twitter use until after I’d read and thoroughly enjoyed Dread Nation. It’s a really terrific novel: what if zombies rose after the Battle of Gettysburg, and American history took a decided turn to deal with this new existential threat? …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/19/dread-nation-dread-nation-1-by-justina-ireland/

May 02 2018

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

The fairy tales that we’re familiar with have spent centuries being smoothed down by retelling after retelling, retaining their magic despite the years and multiple minor tweaks because, as stories, they make sense to us. Some might argue that those minor tweaks Disney-fy the process, but I believe that they whittle away the things that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/02/the-changeling-by-victor-lavalle/

Mar 31 2018

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

This powerful book about a woman discovering her own agency through the lens of the Bangladeshi immigrant experience surprised me at how timeless it felt even though it’s set at the turn of the 21st century. It’s very much in the tradition of classics by Thomas Hardy and Willa Cather, documenting with a fine eye …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/03/31/brick-lane-by-monica-ali/

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 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/

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/

Sep 12 2014

Face in the Crowd

Just over a year ago now, I made my first trip to the United States of America. As I was heading to the East Coast, I had the ‘joy’ of an eight hour layover at LAX. As I wandered around the airport, looking at the shops, grabbing some food I noticed there was a lot …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/09/12/face-in-the-crowd/