Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners but is now currently being hosted by Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.

This week’s book:

Native Son by Richard Wright

Blurb from Goodreads

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

Why I Want To Read It

Happy first day of the week everyone! It is Monday again, the start of a new week. I hope it was not a manic one. Today has been damp here in Manila but, even though I don’t consider myself a pluviophile, I still kind of like the atmosphere. It also reminds me of one of my hometowns, the city of Baguio up in the north. Anyway, I hope you started the week on the right note and I hope that the rest of the week will go great for everyone. I hope that you are all doing well and are in a good state of health, both in your mind and body. As the year approaches its final stretch, I hope that you all get repaid for all the hard work you’ve poured in. I hope that all your prayers get answered. My biggest wish, however, is for COVID-19 and monkeypox to be finally eradicated. With this, I remind everyone to be diligent in observing minimum health protocols. I wish that everyone will have a great week ahead!

To kickstart the blogging week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. For September, I am immersing myself in the works of American literature. This is after I have resolved to focus on my ongoing reading challenges for the year; after spending two months traveling across Asia, starting in Japan to the rest of the continent, I realized how I have been lagging behind in most of these challenges. So as not to put too much pressure on myself towards the end of the year, I have been ticking off books from these challenges. Most of the pending books in these challenges are works of American literature, hence, my current reading journey. To align with this month’s motif, I have been featuring works of American literature in this month’s Goodreads Monday updates. This week, I am featuring Richard Wright’s Native Son.

Last week, I featured the work of a Native American writer and of an Asian-American writer two weeks prior. A sort of pattern has established itself, right? With the United States developing into a melting pot of different cultures, American literature has, over time, become equally diverse. One can literally find works from every walk of life and from every racial background within the vast ambit of American literature. The second half of the 20th century saw the remarkable rise of African American and Black American writers. Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Alice Walker are among the names that have redefined the place of African/Black American literature in the grand scheme of things. Morrison would even go and win the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature.

Another African American writer who made his mark was Richard Wright. I think it was through must-read challenges that I first encountered Wright; with the number of writers I encountered in such lists, I can barely recall. Born in Plantation, Roxie, Mississippi, Wright has an extensive oeuvre that includes works from different genres, from dramas to essays to short stories to novels. Among his most popular works is Native Son, a book I acquired through an online bookseller early in 2021; like most of my books, it is left to gather dust on my bookshelf. If time will allow it, I am hoping to read the book this year. The book is considered one of the successful early attempts to grapple with the racial divide that hounded (and continues to hound) American society. Unsurprisingly (I guess), the book is one of the most challenged books in American public high schools and libraries. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading one of the seminal works of African/Black American literature.

How about you fellow reader? Are there works of African/Black American literature you want to recommend? Do drop it in the comment box. For now, happy Monday and, as always, happy reading!