Happy Wednesday everyone! March is done; time literally is in a rush. I hope everyone is having a great midweek. I am also hoping that everyone’s March went well. Wednesdays also mean WWW Wednesday update. WWW Wednesday is a bookish meme originally hosted by SAM@TAKING ON A WORLD OF WORDS. The mechanics for WWW Wednesday is quite simple, you just have to answer three questions:
- What are you currently reading?
- What have you finished reading?
- What will you read next?
What are you currently reading?
With March done, I am pivoting my literary journey from African to Asian literature. I am opening April with my first Chang-Rae Lee novel in nearly five years. I have previously read two of the Korean-American novelist’s works (A Gesture Life and Native Speaker) but I haven’t read any of his works in the past five years. When I learned that he was publishing a new work this year, I was stoked. I looked forward to obtaining a copy of the book and luckily enough, I managed to purchase one. My Year Abroad is the story of Tiller Bardmon. He is one-eighth Asian (I guess that needed to be emphasized) living in an American city he refused to mention but nicknamed it Stagno. The first few chapter lays out what I assume would be Tiller’s “year abroad” as he is slowly being reeled in to the circles of Pong, a Chinese physicist who was experimenting on the different flavors of yogurt. This is quite a lengthy book and I barely made a dent but I am hoping to make great progress this holiday.
What have you finished reading?
In the past seven days, I managed yet again to complete two books. The first book I completed was my first memoir in over a year. Nobel Laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka’s Aké: The Years of Childhood recounts his younger years spent in a Yoruban village named Aké located on the Nigerian countryside. Soyinka weaves a vivid portrait of the village, its customs, and its denizens. He also introduced his family, dominated by the patriarch, to his readers. It was my first Soyinka book and I was immediately astonished by his writing. With his storytelling, it almost feels like I was reading a fictional piece. Even at a young age, the brilliance of the young Wole cannot be denied. He was witty, smart, but he was also a normal child. It was great immersing in the writer’s memory.
I closed my African literature month with Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country. Named as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, I bought the book nearly three years ago sans any inkling as to who Paton was or what the novel was about. Published in 1948, Cry, the Beloved Country was conceived during Paton’s travel around the world. The novel narrates the story of Stephen Kumalo, a reverent “umfundisi” serving the South African country side village of Ndotsheni, in Kwa-Zulu. A letter he received from Msimangu, a fellow reverend in Johannesburg, made him rush to the metropolis. What he witnesses in Johannesburg changed his perspective. Cry, the Beloved Country, although published pre-apartheid, is an in-depth examination of the social structure prevailing in South Africa that gave way to the apartheid. It was a lyrical but sad story.
What will you read next?
I am looking to pursue my April Asian Literature Month with one of the most anticipated novels this year. Klara t\and the Sun is Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel since he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. I was one of those who looked forward to the book and I am very grateful I didn’t have to wait long to purchase a copy of the book. I can’t wait to read his eighth novel. Another book I have in line is Elif Shafak’s controversial novel, The Bastard of Istanbul which I purchased two years ago even though I barely had any iota on what it was. Later in that year, Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction. This made me look forward to reading her controversial work.
Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!