get me out of this shithole
I, for one, am bored. Bored of corona, bored of flights being cancelled and bored of stressing out every time I clear my throat in public. If I hear the words ‘second wave’ being thrown around one more time, I will projectile vomit.
So, I think what our book club needs in order to end our summer of reading on a high is a little holiday. An escape, if you will.
‘the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.’
Reading is literally escapism in its purest form, so this month we’re choosing between four novels by incredible authors from all corners of the globe. Hailing from Japan, Nigeria, India and Columbia, respectively, their work is sure to transport us to different places and different times. Ultimately, I’m hoping this will be a welcome distraction from the shit show that continues to unfold around us. The vibe is anything but the UK in 2020, basically.
To select the book you’d like to read the most, I’ve got a poll going on my Twitter which is linked at the bottom of the page.
P.S. Our discussion for Queenie is next Tuesday at 8pm<3
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970) – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez remains one of the most significant authors of the 20th Century. One Hundred Years of Solitude is arguably his masterpiece;
‘…the story of seven generations of the Buendía family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. A microcosm of Colombian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book, and only Aureliano Buendía can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny’.
– Penguin RandomHouse (2014)
Tokyo Ueno Station (2020) – Yu Miri
Japanese-Korean author Yu Miri is one of Japan’s most celebrated writers. Her new novel, Tokyo Ueno Station, is a haunting tale of life after death;
‘Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo’.
– Tilted Axis (2020)
A Burning (2020) – Megha Majamdar
Megha Majamdar’s debut novel, A Burning, has set the literary world on fire (haha). A portrait of modern India, A Burning is one of the most exciting novels of the year:
‘Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely–an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor–has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear’.
Freshwater (2019) – Akwaeke Emezi
We have another debut work! This time its Nigerian writer Akwaeke Emezi’s novel, Freshwater. Longlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, we’re taken on a journey steeped in Igbo lore with Ada;
‘Ada has always been unusual. Her parents prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry. Their troubled child begins to develop separate selves and is prone to fits of anger and grief. When Ada grows up and heads to college in America, a traumatic event crystallises the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind, these ‘alters’ – now protective, now hedonistic – take control, shifting her life in a dangerous direction.’
So there we have it! Choose which world you’d like to escape to via my Twitter poll xx