The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, Novels, Religion on 2022-09-13 01:54Z by Steven

The White Mosque: A Silk Road Memoir

Hurst Publishers
October 2022
304 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781787388079

Sofia Samatar, Assistant Professor of English
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

A rich history of wanderers, exiles and intruders. A haunting personal journey through Central Asia. An intimate reflection on mixed identity shaped by cultural crossings.

In the late 1800s, a group of German-speaking Mennonites fled Russia for Muslim Central Asia, to await Christ’s return.

Over a century later, Sofia Samatar traces their gruelling journey across desert and mountains, and its improbable fruit: a small Christian settlement inside the Khanate of Khiva. Named ‘The White Mosque’ after the Mennonites’ whitewashed church, the village—a community of peace, prophecy, music and martyrs—lasted fifty years.

Within this curious tale, Sofia discovers a tapestry of characters connected by the ancient Silk Road: a fifteenth-century astronomer-king; an intrepid Swiss woman traveller; the first Uzbek photographer; a free spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. Along the way, in a voice both warm and wise, she explores her own complex upbringing as an American Mennonite of colour, the daughter of a Swiss-American Christian and a Somali Muslim.

On this pilgrimage to a lost village and a near-forgotten history, Samatar traces the porous borders of identity and narrative. When you leave your tribe, what remains? How do we enter the stories of others? And how, out of life’s buried archives and startling connections, does a person construct a self?

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Ruby Red Skies, A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Forthcoming Media, Novels on 2022-09-04 02:01Z by Steven

Ruby Red Skies, A Novel

Roseway Publishing (an imprint of Fernwood Publishing)
October 2022
272 pages
8.5 x 5.5 in
Paperback ISBN: 9781773635606

Taslim Burkowicz

Ruby used to be a fiery, sexy, musical genius. But when she got pregnant as a teenager in the 90s, her life took a turn into banality. Now a middle-aged Indo-Canadian woman, she feels unseen and unheard by her white husband and struggles to communicate with her mixed-race daughter. When she discovers her husband cheating, she embarks on a quest to unearth exciting secrets from her past. To find what she needs, she drives straight into B.C.’s raging wildfires, accompanied only by the fantastical stories her mother used to tell about their ancient Moghul ancestry — a dancer named Rubina who lived in the concubine quarters of the great Red Fort. This book is at once historical fiction and political romance, deftly navigating themes of mixed-race relationships, climate change, motherhood, body shame, death and the passage of time.

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Amnesia of June Bugs, A Novel

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2022-05-13 18:30Z by Steven

Amnesia of June Bugs

7.13 Books
2022-04-25
354 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 979-8985376203
5.5 x 0.89 x 8.5 inches

Jackson Bliss

Jackson Bliss’s brilliant and moving debut novel redefines what a novel can be. Hurricane Sandy has just smashed into the Eastern Seaboard, trapping four passengers on the C train: a Chinese American graffiti artist grieving his father’s death, a mixed-race graphic designer struggling to become a mom, a Moroccan French translator escaping his heartache in Paris, and an Indian American traveler leaving Chicago to regain control of her life. Amnesia of June Bugs is an ambitious, infatuated, and furious book about the time we lost and the people we could have loved.

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Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United Kingdom on 2022-04-14 22:10Z by Steven

Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel

HarperVia (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2022-04-12
240 pages
5.5 x 0.85 x 8.25 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780063140882
E-book ISBN: 9780063140905
Digital Audio, MP3 ISBN: 9780063140912

Claire Kohda

A young, mixed-race vampire must find a way to balance her deep-seated desire to live amongst humans with her incessant hunger in this stunning debut novel from a writer-to-watch.

Lydia is hungry. She’s always wanted to try Japanese food. Sashimi, ramen, onigiri with sour plum stuffed inside – the food her Japanese father liked to eat. And then there is bubble tea and iced-coffee, ice cream and cake, and foraged herbs and plants, and the vegetables grown by the other young artists at the London studio space she is secretly squatting in. But, Lydia can’t eat any of these things. Her body doesn’t work like those of other people. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs’ blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she’d anticipated.

Then there are the humans – the other artists at the studio space, the people at the gallery she interns at, the strange men that follow her after dark, and Ben, a boyish, goofy-grinned artist she is developing feelings for. Lydia knows that they are her natural prey, but she can’t bring herself to feed on them. In her windowless studio, where she paints and studies the work of other artists, binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and videos of people eating food on YouTube and Instagram, Lydia considers her place in the world. She has many of the things humans wish for – perpetual youth, near-invulnerability, immortality – but she is miserable; she is lonely; and she is hungry – always hungry.

As Lydia develops as a woman and an artist, she will learn that she must reconcile the conflicts within her – between her demon and human sides, her mixed ethnic heritage, and her relationship with food, and, in turn, humans – if she is to find a way to exist in the world. Before any of this, however, she must eat.

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Stranger and Alone: The Story of a Man Who Betrayed His Own People

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2022-04-06 01:35Z by Steven

Stranger and Alone: The Story of a Man Who Betrayed His Own People

Harcourt, Brace and Company
1951
308 pages

J. Saunders Redding (1906–1988)

Stranger and Alone dramatizes the psychological and moral costs of denying one’s racial identity and allowing one’s “white face” to predominate. Striving for individual success through rejection of one’s people, the novel implies, amounts to a betrayal of oneself, as well as a futile striving against history, “the time on the clock of the world.

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Love Knows No Barriers

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Slavery, United States on 2022-03-08 02:49Z by Steven

Love Knows No Barriers

New American Library
1950 (originally published by Creative Age Press in 1947 as God is for White Folks)

Will Thomas [William Smith] (1900-1970)

 

Many Worlds Mingled at Riverbend Plantation

Riverbend Plantation, isolated and decaying, had seen many strange events, passionate conflict and tragic romance. In the shadows of its crumbling walls you will meet:

  • Beau Beauchamp — the cast-off son of the white plantation owner and his ravishing, dark Creole mistress.
  • Elisse Leseur — a beautiful blonde of mixed descent who shunned the offers of wealthy whites and poor Negroes.
  • Bartolomew — an understanding Northerner who put his theories into practice and fought off an enraged mob.
  • Gaynor Brackens — the hot-blooded son of the leading banker, who determined to have Elisse — at any price.
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What We Lose

Posted in Africa, Books, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Novels, South Africa, United States on 2022-02-25 16:24Z by Steven

What We Lose

4th Estate
2017-07-11
224 pages
5 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0735221710
Paperback ISBN: 978-0735221734

Zinzi Clemmons

A short, intense and profoundly moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death – from one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35

Thandi is a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian.

She is American, but doesn’t feel as American as some of her friends.

She is South African, but doesn’t belong in South Africa either.

Her mother is dying.

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Mirror Girls

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States, Women on 2022-02-09 02:55Z by Steven

Mirror Girls

Little, Brown Young Readers
2022-02-08
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780759553859
eBook ISBN-13: 9780759553859
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781549165962

Kelly McWilliams

A thrilling gothic horror novel about biracial twin sisters separated at birth, perfect for fans of Lovecraft Country and The Vanishing Half

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.

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Love Medicine, A Novel (Newly Revised Edition)

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Novels, United States on 2021-12-06 20:20Z by Steven

Love Medicine, A Novel (Newly Revised Edition)

Harper Perennial
2016-08-23 (Originally published in 1994)
400 pages
5x8in
Paperback ISBN: 9780061787423

Louise Erdrich

Set on a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, Love Medicine—the first novel from master storyteller and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich—is an epic story about the intertwined fates of two families: the Kashpaws and the Lamartines.

With astonishing virtuosity, each chapter of this stunning novel draws on a range of voices to limn its tales. Black humor mingles with magic, injustice bleeds into betrayal, and through it all, bonds of love and family marry the elements into a tightly woven whole that pulses with the drama of life.

Erdrich has written a multigenerational portrait of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable whirlwind of anger, desire, and the healing power that is love medicine.

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Black Brother, Black Brother

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, United States on 2021-12-03 19:53Z by Steven

Black Brother, Black Brother

Little, Brown Young Readers
2020-03-03
256 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780316493802
Trade Paperback ISBN-13: 9780316493796
eBook ISBN-13: 9780316493819
Audiobook ISBN-13: 9781549102202

Jewell Parker Rhodes

From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.

Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best.

Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don’t look like him. They don’t like him either. Dubbing him “Black Brother,” Donte’s teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey.

When he’s bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, “King” Alan, he’s suspended from school and arrested.

Terrified, searching for a place where he belongs, Donte joins a local youth center and meets former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden’s help, he begins training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on taking down the fencing team captain, no matter what.

As Donte hones his fencing skills and grows closer to achieving his goal, he learns the fight for justice is far from over. Now Donte must confront his bullies, racism, and the corrupt systems of power that led to his arrest.

Powerful and emotionally gripping, Black Brother, Black Brother is a careful examination of the school-to-prison pipeline and follows one boy’s fight against racism and his empowering path to finding his voice.

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