*Twitter discussion of Toni Morrison's Sula hosted by Evelyn N. Alfred begins Monday, June 27.
*I'm hosting a live discussion of Victor Lavalle's Big Machine at BrownGirl BookSpeak on Wednesday, June 15.
*A discussion The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson begins Wednesday, June 15.
Got any discussions or read alongs of POC books coming up? Let us know in the comments.
On to the New Crayons...
Tropical Fish: Tales From Entebbe by Doreen Baingana
In her fiction debut, Doreen Baingana follows a Ugandan girl as she navigates the uncertain terrain of adolescence. Set mostly in pastoral Entebbe with stops in the cities Kampala and Los Angeles, Tropical Fish depicts the reality of life for Christine Mugisha and her family after Idi Amins dictatorship.
Three of the eight chapters are told from the point of view of Christines two older sisters, Patti, a born-again Christian who finds herself starving at her boarding school, and Rosa, a free spirit who tries to “magically” seduce one of her teachers. But the star of Tropical Fish is Christine, whom we accompany from her first wobbly steps in high heels, to her encounters with the first-world conveniences and alienation of America, to her return home to Uganda.
As the Mugishas cope with Ugandas collapsing infrastructure, they also contend with the universal themes of family cohesion, sex and relationships, disease, betrayal, and spirituality. Anyone dipping into Baingana's incandescent, widely acclaimed novel will enjoy their immersion in the world of this talented newcomer.
Wounded Words by Evelyne Accad
Poetical and powerful, this book is a vivid autobiographical exploration of women's issues in the political turmoil of contemporary Tunisia. Hayate's feminist ideals are put to the test during her stay in Tunisia. Her friends face the choice of leaving the Arab world to live where women can find more freedom, or stay to work for a better society. The dilemma becomes much more than theory when a crisis befalls Hayate. She is forced to consider how women can rid themselves of old ways of relating to each other and to men. Through Hayate's thought-provoking story, Evelyn Accad captures the debate about feminism, asks how women can live day-to-day by its values, and addresses the question of feminism in the Arab world.
Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
From World War I to the 1970s, some six million black Americans fled the American South for an uncertain existence in the urban North and West. They left all they knew and took a leap of faith that they might find freedom under the Warmth of Other Suns.
Their leaving became known as the Great Migration. It brought us James Baldwin, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Richard Wright and the forebears of Michelle Obama, Toni Morrison and of most African-Americans in the North and West. It set in motion the civil rights movement and created our cities and art forms.
This is the story of three who made the journey, of the forces that compelled them to leave and of the many others—famous and not so famous—who went as far as they could to realize the American Dream.
While vacationing in India, Kiria Langdon, the opinionated and driven CEO of a major company, meets Santoshi, a former slave who now works as a cleaning lady and lives in a shelter for homeless women in Chennai. Appalled by the conditions in the shelter, Kiria becomes obsessed with the idea of building decent housing for poor working women in India. Santoshi reluctantly agrees to help, even though she thinks Kiria's ideas are too crazy to succeed.
Embarking on a rich journey of personal discovery, both women will learn invaluable lessons about themselves as they forge a powerful bond of sisterhood across the barriers of language and culture-a bond that makes anything possible.