#DiverseAThon – January 22nd to January 29th 2017
So I came across the Diverseathon on Julia’s blog Read and Live Well – and it sounds great so I’m going to give it a go!
It is hosted by a few booktubers/bloggers (links to follow below) and runs for a week, 22nd to 29th January, with the idea to broaden what you are reading, to deliberately choose from marginalised voices (ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, feminist writers…). I’ve really been trying to do this in the last year or two, and so am keen to get involved.
One (optional!) aspect of the week, is a group read – Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. Got this for Christmas and was intending to read in the next few months, so I’m going to be reading along!
I’m also planning on sharing reviews on a couple of diverse books I’ve read recently – The Good Immigrant (edited by Nikesh Shukla) and Gather Together in My Name (by Maya Angelou).
Here’s what I’ll be reading in the week:
The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
Goodreads Synopsis: “Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.”
I’ll be reading this along with other participants in the Diverseathon!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
Goodreads Synopsis: “Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.”
I’ve never read anything from a Native American writer and have had this on my shelf for a while so excited to get stuck in!
And if I have time/get on to anything more…
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Goodreads synopsis: “As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.”
I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while! And am hoping to read more African writers, so if I get through the other two I hope to get onto this!
And here are links to the Hosts:
Is anyone else getting involved? What will you be reading? Any suggestions for some diverse reads?
Happy reading 🙂