Thursday Book Beat: Roxane Gay Pulls Back

Hi, book lovers! I’m currently swamped at school with readings and work so not much reading got done this week! I was really sick the past sick, tis the season, and everyone at work is sniffling. The Academy Award nominees were announced, and I was happy to see Lion and Moonlight nominated for multiple awards! I’m working through a book Christa gifted to me, Adoption at the Movies, that explores how adoption is portrayed in the media, and I promise that review will come soon!

In light of the Trump administration’s coining the term “alternative facts,” George Orwell’s 1984 has become the top-selling book on as reported by an article in The Atlantic. If you didn’t have to read Orwell in school, or didn’t get a chance to read this book, Orwell speaks about the power government can hold and wield to the demise of it’s citizens, the power of propaganda, and so you can see why it spiked on the bestseller list after those comments. We as readers, must look at books as not just fiction but prescriptive. Orwell, who uses analogies often, should be read as warning not just as dystopian tale. Orwell isn’t the only author who has seen a rise in popularity, the same article lists Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here, a novel about a fascist leader in America, and J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a novel about rural American voters as others.

The Writer’s Trust Announced a new writing contest for Canadian students in grades 5-8. The contest urges students to write about a powerful, original story. The contest urges teachers to use the contest to encourage their student’s to be global citizens, empathetic and critical. First Place wins $500 and a Skype session with award winning author Melanie Florence. Submissions will be judged based on the target culture or setting, creativity, clarity, and organization, spelling, and grammar and the main character. You can read more about the contest and how to submit here.

It seems the Simon and Schuster controversy continues and rightfully so. Roxane Gay, prominent feminist author, has pulled her upcoming book How to be Heard in a move to protest the publishing house’s decision to go forth with the publication of alt-right Twitter troll Milo Yiannopoulos (honestly, so tired of seeing this name; it just sounds like a douchey name). Perhaps most noble in her decision to stop supporting the publishing house, she acknowledges that unlike many authors, she can afford to do so, and it privileged to hold others jobs, and has already made a name for herself. You can read the entire article here.

I really love John Lewis, like a lot. He’s who I think of when I think of courage, intelligence, and justice. So you can imagine how happy I am to hear that his comic book March: Book Three has not only been nominated for a National Book Award, but also very fitting, won the Coretta Scott King award for best children’s book by an African American author and the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in children’s literature. You can read about Lewis’s wins here.

Happy Thursday!

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.