The Thursday Book Beat: Testing the Impact of Bechdel’s Fun Home

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Margaret Atwood column: hair today, everywhere but the National Post tomorrow? 

A tongue-in-cheek column written by Atwood about the hair escapades of some Canadian politicians was pulled from the newspaper’s website a few hours after publication. An edited version of the column appeared on the website that night, with some of Atwood’s more striking remarks against Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed from the text. The Post’s actions roused up a discussion on social media regarding censorship and politics, neither of which are new themes in Atwood’s work.

Top 20 translated books to add to your reading lists

When’s the last time you read a translated book? Chad W. Post, director at Open Letter Books, shared some of his favorite translated literature at Publishers Weekly, and it’s an eclectic, vibrant list. I’ll definitely be adding Act of the Damned and Five Spice Street to my own TBR pile.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home challenged again by university freshmen

Several members of the incoming freshman class at Duke University took issue with the inclusion of Fun Home on their optional summer reading list. While some students applauded the book, citing the opportunity to “open your mind to a new perspective and examine a way of life and thinking with which you are unfamiliar” [Marivi Howell-Arza], others refused to read it because of moral or religious objections to sex scenes within the story.

Toni Morrison discusses God Help the Child on NPR

Beloved may have become part of the canon of American literature, but Morrison continues her work in God Help the Child, analyzing how “levels of blackness” are perpetuated, the idea of race and stereotypes, and how writing has helped to shape who she is today.

“So were there times in your life when you’ve been exposed to that kind of hierarchy of color within the African-American community?”

“I have. I didn’t have it until I went away to college. I didn’t know there was this kind of preference. But I noticed, in addition to the outside world of Washington, D.C., which at that time – this is 1949, 1950 – there were very obvious stated, written differences between what white people were able to do and what black people were able to do. But on the campus, where I felt safe and welcome, I began to realize that this idea of the lighter the better and the darker the worse was really – had an impact on sororities, on friendships, on all sorts of things, and it was stunning to me.”

Elle writer shares why she believes white women need to read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

After all, it’s not Nicki Minaj or Ta-Nehisi Coates’ responsibility to undo systemic racism. Those of us who, by virtue of our white skin, have benefitted from white supremacy and racial hierarchy are the ones who must destroy it.

ICYMI

Haiti schoolchildren receive 90 custom-made books from college French class

Jane Austen’s life to be adapted for romantic comedy film

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About Author

Angel Cruz is a writer and boy band scholar. You can also find her at Book Riot for endless discussion and flailing over all things literature. Ice cream, Broadway musicals, and Arashi are her lifeblood.

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