On top of the glorious readings of some of her passages, and her captivating descriptions of Nigeria, where her inspiration, research, and personal experiences come from, I was touched by some of the other messages she had for us.
Female relationships, were a special element to Chimamanda’s interview and this is what I would like to reflect on for this week’s blog.
Myself and two fellow new Trustees, inspirational women who I can’t wait to meet, are bringing new perspectives to this charity that has already achieved so much as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. It’s a time when Nottingham is bursting with creativity, and also a time that the world needs a little more help to stay positive, inspired and empowered.
I’ve been following The Nottingham City Of Literature for a while. It’s an organistion I admire, for many reasons, all very meaningful to me. Focused on inspiring and supporting the people of my home town, its aim is to “build a better world with words”. I couldn’t think of a more praise worthy goal. It’s one I truly believe in and one I genuinely feel is possible.
This week’s blog is in celebration of this excellent organisation and what “building a better world with words” means to me.
This week’s post is a straight forward book review of a novel that was anything but. “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid was a fun read. It was more than that too. It posed some important questions and held the mirror up to some common truths about the world we live in.
To celebrate the first female, mixed heritage, Asian, African Caribbean vice President of the United States being officially in post (three cheers for Kamala Harris!), today’s blog has to be about representation.
Knowing that my daughter will watch the news and see a little of herself in the Vice President of the United States is hard to describe. It’s comforting, reassuring, empowering, exciting and more, because she is represented.
So why is representation so important?
Here are the top five reasons from my point of view…..
It’s been a week since I “went public” with my blog and I want to follow up on my “Why So Shy” post, where I explained how uncomfortable it felt to put this out there, but concluded with my understanding that racism was more important that my discomfort.
Well it’s funny, because I don’t feel shy anymore.
Ooooo this was a goodie! A proper page turning, couldn’t put it down, thriller!
The truth is, I wouldn’t have read anything by Rachel Edwards before I recently committed to a year of reading books written only by authors of colour. The reason is simply because I’d never heard of her. (Which is a tragedy, by the way, because she’s awesome.) It makes me think, even as an English graduate and dedicated bookworm…….how many Black, British authors do I know? How many can I name off the top of my head? How many did I study at school or university? I’m ashamed of myself for this, not least because I didn’t even notice the white centrism in my own reading.
The second read for my ‘Are You Read-Y for This’ book club, chosen by an inspirational friend and colleague, was Dominicana, by Angie Cruz. Thank goodness for book club, because I’m ashamed to say I would never have known about it otherwise.
I have never read this author before – but I suspect I would have picked it off a shelf if I’d seen it, purely because the woman on the front cover looks like me. (I’m a narcissist, clearly.)
When I started reading and learning more about racial inequalities and the issues that need to be addressed across society, I purposely started reading more novels and non-fiction books by Black authors. I committed to a Summer of authors of colour. That soon extended to a year because I’m getting so much out of it. Maybe I’ll never stop!