Miss India America, Simhan and Kapoor 2015
Miss India America, Simhan and Kapoor 2015
10 x 30 min.
Ik kreeg het niet voor elkaar om de film te kijken, maar gelukkig hielp Netflix (weer eens): nu is er ook een serie.
Met hetzelfde gegeven: zwarte studenten op overmatig witte campus die in mindere en meerdere mate tegen racisme ingaan. Hoofdpersoon is misschien wel Sam met radioshow Dear White People, maar – heel fijn – anderen krijgen elk ook een aflevering. Iets met ‘verschillende, nodige invalshoeken’ en zo.
Zo leer je waarom sommigen “zo min mogelijk zwart” willen zijn, of hoe het is om waarheid te ontkennen voor je eigen veiligheid.
En door het evenwicht van continu activisme en ‘ik wil gewoon leven, hoe dan ook’ wordt Dear White People geen eenzijdig pamflet. Hoeft ook niet; de ervaring van met de neus op de bittere feiten gedrukt worden gebeurt toch wel.
Dear White People, Netflix 2017
The first inkling that something was wrong was waking in darkness to find the cat pawing at my face.
The narrator being unreliable (or do I only think she’s unreliable?) definitely set my teeth on edge, almost as much as the paranoia slowly building.
Main character and narrator Laura (Lo) has to experience a luxurious cruise for work. If only the tight spaces didn’t remind her so much of the very recent home burglary she experienced.
Instead of work, the luxuries and familiar faces present to distract her, Laura is sure that one night she witnesses a murder. Her frazzled state never ceases, only grows, because there was no woman in that cabin, and is it true that she’s been recently traumatised?
The roll up and conclusion aren’t completely satisfying, but the way towards it is creepy enough for a few hours thrilling entertainment.
The woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware, Harvill Secker 2016
See them in their golden hour, a flood of girls high on the ecstasy of the final bell, tumbling onto the city bus, all gawky limbs and Wonderbra cleavage, chewed nails picking at eruptive zits, lips nibbling and eyes scrunching in a doomed attempt not to cry.
I’m both angry at and feeling supportive towards this book. I didn’t like it.
Books like these – underlining how they realistically show what it is like to grow up as a girl, to have female relationships, always set my teeth on edge. Not just because it’s so easy to make it look like this is a world-wide experience versus a personal one, but also because it can easily turn into sexist material: “dumb, jealous, hormonal, pitiful creatures, these girls”.
It’s humanity and society that’s tackling these two main characters. Hannah and Lacey barely need anything or anyone else but each other for (self-)sabotage. A small American town as their stage doesn’t help either.
So there are too many recognisable things, too much hurt and frustration to come out of this story light and happy. Because gosh darn it, why didn’t we know then what we know now, and where did the fire go?
Girls on Fire, Robin Wasserman, Little Brown 2016
Radiance, Catherynne M. Valente, Corsair 2015
People often shit themselves when they die.
Ah nice, just some ordinary, entertaining sword and dagger (and dagger, and dagger) fantasy. Is it a stand alone? I don’t think so. Can it be read as one? Definitely.
Preteen girl goes through a traumatic experience, uses it to get into Superb Killer’s School to become one and punish those that put her through it. Along the ride there’s a lot of high school tropes (cliques, hateful teachers, romances) with some fantasy ones (surely there’s never been one as good as her).
It’s fun and satisfying, with some nice (with some gruesome details) world building along the way. Did it blow my mind and will stay with me forever? No. Was there anything annoyingly wrong with it? Not that I can remember.
Nevernight, Jay Kristoff, Harper Collins 2016
In a single year, my father left us twice.
This was work. I don’t know how I managed to read two similarly build up novels (the other one being Disappearing Moon Cafe), but this one was the tougher of the two. Maybe because the comparison material was so recent. Both left me wondering how I’d like something contemporary written by an Asian actor.
Anyway, time moves every way but chronologically in Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Keep your head with you, because there’s a lot of characters going through a lot of things. The most brutal one, probably Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ and the horrors of Tiananmen Square.
These aren’t light, bright stories. There seems to be no end to what a family can be put through, and the small, mythology-like side steps only make the difference starker. How did anyone come out alive?
It’s a novel to take in in small doses, to learn and see through another set of goggles.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien, Granta 2016