Thursday, April 30, 2009

Diversity in reading

I find it very easy to get into a reading rut, finding an author or a genre I enjoy and running with it. That said, I try to mix it up, and one of my favorite things about the Fearless Readers is that it generally has me reading books and authors I never would have heard about. I believe I once described it to Lynne as the thing that keeps me from reading yet another Irvine Welsh.

Anyway, I am snagging this meme from Matthew, whose literature blog I've recently discovered. I'll stick with books from this year, unless I have to dig deeper to find ones that qualify. I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions as well!

Name the last book by a female author that you've read.
This is an easy one for me, as I read a lot of woman authors. I am currently reading Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor, and read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer just before this.

Name the last book by an African or African American author that you've read.
I read Sula by Toni Morrison (also female!) in March. Before that, it was Edward P. Jones's excellent short story collection, Lost in the City, in January.

Name one from a Latino/a author.

I read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz earlier this month.

How about one from an Asian country or an Asian American?

This is my weakest category. Thanks to the Fearless Readers, I read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami a few years ago, as well as The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I suppose Salman Rushdie is technically Indian as well, though I am not sure he would qualify in this particular exercise.

What about a GLBT writer?
This is the toughest for me to answer, mostly because I have no clue who qualifies! One list I found puts Brideshead Revisited, which I read last month, as #19 on the list of the 100 best GLBT books of all time. Of the authors I know to be considered GLBT, I've read David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, Michael Cunningham and Jeanette Wintersen. I believe Virginia Woolf would be included as well. Another list I found also included Brett Easton Ellis, James Barrie, Nikolai Gogol, John Knowles, Anne Rice, and Bram Stoker. So I guess I've covered this category relatively well, but without having any focus on doing so.

Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you're feeling lucky?
I have to go back a few years for this one as well, to The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights. You guessed it - Fearless Readers again!

Any other "marginalized" authors you've read lately?
I don't think so, not lately... some American men, more women, a couple of Brits... none really qualify as "marginalized!"

Do you read non-fiction regularly? Do you read it in a different way or place than you read fiction?

I used to mix non-fiction in with my fiction on a regular basis, but since the Bug came along I have less time to read in general, and I tend to focus on fiction. I do read the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine... do they count?

1 comment:

A.V. Kennedy said...

Yikes, I have a very un-diverse reading history. Thanks for the prompt.