Happy midweek everyone! I hope you are all having a great day and a great week. I am wishing everyone a happy Wednesday! 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?
My venture into the uncharted waters of Latin American and Caribbean literature (at least for me) has next brought me to Paraguay through Augusto Roa Bastos’ I The Supreme. Not only is this my first novel by Augusto Roa Bastos but I The Supreme is also my first novel set in Paraguay or that deals with Paraguay. A historical novel and a “dictator novel” ( I just learned about this particular genre today), I The Supreme is a fictional account of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, the first Paraguayan dictator. To be honest, it was only until I started reading this book that I learned a bit about Paraguay’s history and made me realize that dictators are more common than I imagined. My understanding of world history, I realized, is more limited than I originally thought. I am familiar with the Ferdinand Marcoses, the Fidel Castros, the Juan Perons, prior to venturning into literature. Reading and literature has opened several vistas to me and has introduced me to historical figures such as Francia and Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo, who I first encountered through Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I The Supreme, however, is not an easy read and it does remind me of another Latin American novel about dictators, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ The Autumn of the Patriarch.
What have you finished reading?
Maryse Condé is a literary heavyweight. However, it was only in 2019 that I first heard of her. On the leadup to the 2018/2019 Nobel Prize in Literature awarding, she was one of the names touted to bring one of the two awards on offer. Unfortunately, she did not win but this encounter piqued my interest. (Yoko Tawada is another writer who piqued my interest because of the same circumstances). The first Condé novel I encountered was Crossing the Mangrove. As it was a rarity encountering any of her works in my part of the world, I didn’t hesitate in adding it to my cart and also adding it to my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. Crossing the Mangrove commences with Francis Sancher, a good looking albeit enigmatic Cuban who moved to the small village of Riviere au Sel, in Guadeloupe. He aroused the curiosity of everyone and was either loved or hated. However, this novel is not entirely about him. When he was found dead one day, the narrative diverged as locals who has dealt with him started telling their stories. Crossing the Mangrove is the portrait of a small village coming into grips with the legacy of colonialism and slavery. It made me want to read more of Maryse Condé’s works.
What will you read next?
In line is Nobel Laureate in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat, which, I have learned is another novel detailing the life of a dictator. Listed as one of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, The Feast of the Goat is set in Dominican Republic and touches on the regime of Rafael Trujillo who I have already mentioned above. This is going to be just my second novel by Vargas Llosa. A new title that has piqued my interest is Chilean novelist Jose Donoso’s A House in the Country. I just featured it in my latest Goodreads Monday update. Like most of the books I have read this month, this is going to be my first Donoso novel and I can’t wait to immerse in it as it was listed as one of the best books about South America.
Thus concludes another WWW Wednesday update! I hope everyone is having a great midweek! Do keep safe and as always, enjoy reading!