About four months ago, I had the great pleasure of meeting a complete stranger who had as little a clue who I was as I did he. That stranger turned out to be the much (much, much, much) acclaimed Alan Hollinghurst. He also turned out to be leaving so our actual encounter was incredibly brief, details of which can be found here.
Having owned up to the shame of turning up to lauch of a book about an author knowing literally nothing about him, I resolved to educate myself on the work of the eponymous author. My partner ensured I made good on this by buying me a copy of The Line of Beauty for Christmas. As usual, I’m way behind the crowd on this one, but the political satire of this treatise in hedonism and conservatism certainly hasn’t expired in the interim.
A few short weeks ago, well ok, in September, I saw a post recurring on a couple of blogs I follow: Diversity Spotlight Thursday, in which the blogger highlights books that the readers may not have noticed because they come from the more maginalised authors. Hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks, this caught my attention as this year I’ve been trying to reach out of my comfort zone as, like most of Western pop culture, my reading is rather whitewashed. Then, when I saw this post, I decided I had to participate, but alas Life got in the way as usual and I’m just now setting about writing it!
A Diverse Book I’ve Read and Enjoyed
Way back in September, Portobello Books were kind enough to send me an advance reader copy of The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasm (published by Protobello/Granta, available from Waterstones), a book about the latter days of the Sri Lankan civil war. This book was a gut-wrenching glimpse into a life so removed from my own that it took me a while to decide just how I felt about it. Just tell us how you felt Moz, well… I felt shocked and sad and angry, but above all I felt privileged.While not just a commentary on the atrocities of civil war, the book is also a sharp narration of the harsh reality of all those fleeing from a war not of their making. Although I say it A LOT, this was one of the books that left me reeling and lost in thought for quite a while. Continue reading “Diversity Spotlight Thursday”→