Thursday Book Beat: South Asian KidLit, Handmaiden’s Tale Adaptation and Pantsuit Nation Book Controversy

Hi book lovers! The countdown to the holidays is here! I’ve finally lifted my head from my textbooks, finished my exams and am now working as much as I can to pay for all the gifts I’m buying (because Christmas is a capitalist holiday in the Western world). I’m headed up to my godmother’s cottage in Northern Ontario and I’m so excited to actually have time to read the books I want to! On my list is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, both came highly recommended by my friend Luis who reads more than anyone I know.

I am a proud member of Pantsuit Nation, a secret Facebook group that was created during the U.S Presidential campaign for supporters of Hilary Clinton to share hopeful stories and support. I saw a post this week by the founder, Libby Chamberlain that she would be publishing a book based on the Facebook page. While I was excited to have this format, a lot of concerns were raised by myself and many of the group members that a private page would now be public, a safe space now free terrain. Other concerns were where the profits would go, to the charities mentioned by many of the posts? Chamberlain quickly cleared that concern by noting that the proceeds would support charities such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, etc.

Kumail Nanjiani Twitter Comment on Representation in Rogue One

As a South Asian female I have been almost conditioned to reject my culture, my skin and have internalized the message of “lighter is better.” As I was reading Silicon Valley actor Kumail Nanjiani’s Twitter comments on how seeing a brown hero in the new Star Wars movie moved him because he had never seen a character like that before, did I start to reflect myself on the importance of representation of South Asian people. I know I have to do a better job and if you, like me are interested in South Asian literature here is an amazing list of South Asian Kid Lit books that I wished I had read growing up. I love Mindy Kaling, but she can’t be our only spokesperson.

Speaking of Star Wars… If you haven’t seen Rogue One you’re either telling everyone not to spoil it for you and counting down the days till you can see it! I loved it. Carrie Fisher’s new biography is a popular gift item this year and it’s hard to remember that she was only nineteen when she began shooting. The book offers some insight into her life in Hollywood and her affair with Harrison Ford. Must add to read list.

Elisabeth Moss as Offred in Handmaiden’s Tale by Hulu

The first few photos for the Hulu adaption of The Handmaiden’s Tale were released and we saw the characters Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Stahovski, Joseph Fiennes (I could keep going this is just a really talented cast) will play. The series is set to release on April 26th and you have wonder in the current political climate, might it be worth taking a look at the dystopian world writer Margaret Atwood created so we may learn from fiction so it doesn’t spill into reality?

Well if you Harry Potter fans needed an early holiday gift, J.K Rowling released some answers to FAQs on her website.

For all of you celebrating this weekend I hope that your days are spent with good food, company and people! Stay safe and stay warm.

Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays!

Ashley Ash

Ashley Ash

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.