novel

Book Review: Hanna Alkaf’s The Weight of Our Sky

What struck me hardest about The Weight of Our Sky is the tenderness and care that Alkaf imbues in her writing, without sacrificing any of the brutality of historical events. The book is careful not to tip the blame for the riots in one direction or the other, but subtly weaves relevant details into the narrative.

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Book Review: Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

However, our choice of Pachinko was rooted in its status as the first English-language novel depicting the history of Koreans in Japan. Lee follows several generations of the Baek family as they struggle to survive in a country that hates them, and one they did not exactly come to by choice.

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Book Review: Tade Thompson’s Rosewater

If the events and characters are the weft, giving color and pattern to this narrative, Nigerian life and Yoruba custom are the warp that gives it structure. … Through his words I tasted and smelt the suya Kaaro eats at a roadside stand, felt the heat from the smoldering remains of reanimated bodies “restored” by the dome, and sprinted down a dusty road from a killer robot.

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Book Review: Etaf Rum’s A Woman Is No Man

This book was excruciating. Rum centers the misogyny that runs deep in conservative communities like the Brooklyn neighborhood in which Isra lives, where women are beaten by their husbands and are thrust into traditional gender roles. … A Woman Is No Man is one of those works that sweeps you up and sets you down winded. You feel more alive, somehow, but you need to recover, especially when you remember there are so many who will never come down.

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