Fictional stories have been central to human life for thousands of years. Yet, when it comes to fiction, you often hear phrases like "but it's only fiction," or "it ain't real." The implicit meaning behind such phrases is that fiction is somehow less valuable than non-fiction; that it's far removed from the real world and … Continue reading Why Do We Need Fiction?
Since its release in 2020, Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half has been all over my social media feeds. It debuted at number one on The New York Times fiction best-seller list, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction, and won the Goodreads choice award in best historical fiction. To find out if it … Continue reading Performing Race in Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half
What if memories had the power to transport enslaved people to freedom? In his debut novel, The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates experiments with this idea of memory as a superpower. Blending historical fiction and magical realism, Coates's novel prompts us to rethink the institution of slavery and its enduring legacies. Set largely in the antebellum South, … Continue reading Slavery and the Power of Memory in The Water Dancer
Let's face it, reading slumps are a reader's worst nightmare. No matter how hard you try, you can't read. It's just utterly frustrating. But the good news is: reading slumps don't last forever. There are ways out of the rut. Here are some of the ways that will (hopefully) help you reignite your passion for reading: 1. Start … Continue reading 7 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Reading Slump
The best authors of dystopian fiction don't attempt to predict the future. They're not prophets. What they do is that they look at existing trends in the society they live in and push them to their most radical conclusions. In other words, these authors try to think about what the future would be if things … Continue reading Dystopian Visions That Have Become Reality
In Life of Pi, Yann Martel takes us on a thought experiment: What would happen if a boy and a Bengal tiger were stuck together on a small lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Contrary to what everyone would expect, the tiger doesn’t kill the boy. Instead, the two develop an unusual friendship … Continue reading In the Same Boat: Human-Animal Relationships in Life of Pi