It took two tries for me to stick with The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters (2019) by Balli Kaur Jaswal–I think I needed the audio version to fully get into it. although Jaswal’s third novel–2017’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows–was an instant favorite. Unlikely Adventures opens with an ill Punjabi-Sikh mother of adult daughters,Continue reading “The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters”
In When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal (2019), we meet Kit, a Santa Cruz ER doctor, and travel with her to New Zealand to look for her presumed-dead sister, Josie, after catching a glimpse of her in a news story. Through flashbacks, we learn the sad history of the family, disintegrated by neglectfulContinue reading “When We Believed in Mermaids”
Joan Is Okay (pub. January 18, 2022) by Weike Wang, follows NYC resident, attending intensive care doctor Joan through the aftermath of the death of her father in China, and the weekend she took away from work to attend his funeral. It follows her through a forced bereavement leave, through the start of the coronavirusContinue reading “Joan Is Okay”
There is too much anti-fat bias in this otherwise interesting immigrant coming-of-age novel.
O Beautiful by Jung Yun (coming November 2021) is the story of the return of Elinor Hanson, a forty-something former-model-turned-journalist, to North Dakota near her hometown. Avery is a town full of changes brought by the oil boom in the Bakken shale, where people sleep in parking lots because there are no hotels to beContinue reading “O Beautiful”
This 1994 Pulitzer finalist doesn’t stand the test of time.
I wanted to like The Queen’s Gambit (1983) by Walter Tevis. Although he died in 1984, many writers list him as one of their favorite authors. (See The Writer’s Library, by Nancy Pearl and Jeff Schwager.) I’ve always wanted to learn to play chess, so was drawn to the idea of a girl/woman chess player,Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit”
This memoir by noted Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is highly fatphobic and didn’t make me want to begin a running habit.
I highly recommend this book despite a couple of fatphobic descriptions, because overall it portrays a compelling portrait of feminist resistance, sisterhood, and courage despite an uber-patriarchal dictatorship.
Spoiler and Fatphobic Writing Warning: Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to read specific instances of fatphobia or the identity of one of the villians from Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger, which is generally reviewed here. I didn’t see the subtle fatphobia present while I was reading The Night Tiger, which I generally loved,Continue reading “The Night Tiger (spoilers)”