Tag: drama

The Latest Dirt on Jeanine Cummins’ Novel

Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt has been deemed one of the most anticipated novels of 2020, included in Oprah Winfrey’s book club, and praised by Stephen King and John Grisham. Today, it’s being slated on twitter by literary fans and critics alike. This dichotomy of its reception puts the novel in a precarious position, with one foot on the side of success and the other in very hot water. When it comes to writing about race, sensitivity is one of the most important factors and Cummins’ latest novel is about Mexican immigrant experience, while Jeanine herself is not Mexican. This has set off alarm bells for a lot of people and raised questions about cultural appropriation and “trauma porn”. 

 

 

In a piece in the New York Times, Jeanine identifies herself as white, before going on to pen this novel about a Mexican mother and daughter and their tragic loss of family at the hands of a cartel. The pair must then escape to America. In the novel’s afterword, Cummins describes her motivation to write the novel as an effort to give a story to the “faceless brown mass” that immigrant communities are often seen as. This comment is, in itself, problematic as it raises the question of why Jeanine felt the need to individualize a “mass” of which she is not a part – the notion of the “white savior” comes to mind. 

 

image via slate

 

Fellow writers have shared their own opinions about the novel, either praising Cummins for her work or, more recently, slating it. Writer David Bowles, in a piece on Medium, stipulates that “Latina or no, Cummins certainly isn’t Mexican or Chicana. That’s a problem,”. What this suggests, is that the novel may well be “extraordinary” and well-written but its topic is still controversial and problematic.

 

 

Others have been critical of the plethora of errors and misrepresentations in Cummins’ descriptions of Mexico. This should come as no surprise when an author writes about a group with which they cannot personally or culturally resonate. In an interview with Shelf Awareness, Cummins spoke about her own hesitation to write American Dirt because of this. “I was resistant, initially, to writing from the point of view of a Mexican migrant because, no matter how much research I did, regardless of the fact that I’m Latinx, I didn’t feel qualified to write in that voice,”

If nothing else, this novel has already managed to fully divide readers and critics alike. Plus, the conversation around race and its misrepresentation in literature is one that certainly cannot be contained to American Dirt alone.

Featured image via Bookbub


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Bookstr’s Week in Review ICYMI

We get it. It’s cold, it’s Friday, if you’re in the US it’s the start of a three day weekend. So we’re making things easier for you and compiling some highlights that you don’t want to miss! Before you crack open that bottle of wine or get cosy with your book of the week, take a look at what we’ve been up to.

 

For a laugh:

Ashley treated us to a Friday LOL with a roundup of this week’s funniest book-related tweets. It’s got it all; Gatsby, Potter, March. Ok, now I’m just listing surnames but they’re all in there! Have a read here.

 

For a cry:

When you need to sober up from your laugh, have a look at Emilia’s take on tears. The focus is on Heather Christle’s The Crying Book, which gives an insight into tears, human experience, mental health, the works.

via GIPHY

 

Adaptation news:

It was a BIG week in the realm of book adaptations, with loads of news about all of your favorite books and their move to the screen. We’re talking Witches and Anne Hathaway, the BBC’s Normal People and everyone’s favorite Netflix stalker.

 

 

Making us shiver with antici….pation:

New year, new books. Lauren takes us through a few books to have on our lists coming into the spring. It’s a YA dream!

 

Bookstr’s Three to Read

Every Friday, Nehal goes live with our current top three titles. She’s covering coffee shop reads, dark horses and hot picks every week so there is something for everyone! Check out this week’s here.

 

image via bookstr

 

DRAMA

We live for drama both on the page and off. Luckily, the rest of the booksphere is the same and this week saw some shock resignations and tragic award snubs.

 

image via pinterest

There you have it, you’re officially caught up on some of this week’s bits and bobs. Remember, the best way to keep up to date on all things book and pop culture is catch us on our socials!

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‘His Dark Materials’ “Perfect for TV Adaptation”, Says Star Ruth Wilson

His Dark Materials is coming to HBO this fall. The show is a joint effort between HBO and the BBC, and stars Ruth Wilson, Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In an interview with The Guardian, Ruth Wilson spoke highly of the show, noting:

His Dark Materials is perfect for television.

 

She went on to say that with Game of Thrones, HBO has proven that television is no longer film’s poorer sister. In fact, she noted books are inherently better for the small screen, saying you can really take your time with a book’s content as opposed to rushing through its contents in an hour and a half on the big screen.

There’s no difference anymore and in a way, if you’re going to tell a drama – which this is, as well as being fantasy – you’ve got more time. You have eight hours to explore that, rather than an hour and a half.

 

Image via the Guardian
 

She says the show ‘feels special’ and she is very hopeful about how it will be received by general audiences. The scale of it would have been impossible years ago but nowadays, fantasy can look just as epic, if not more so, on the small than in film. Having more time to explore the world and get to know the characters are huge pluses as well.

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of epic fantasy books by Philip Pullman. It is a coming-of-age tale centering around two children in a strange alternative Oxford. While magic, witches, and giant armored polar bears exist in this universe, themes of spirituality and physics are also explored. The books have attracted controversy for their criticism of religion, but this hasn’t stopped them from being enormously popular, garnering numerous awards and reaching bestsellers lists. The iconic series will see its debut this fall on HBO and we cannot wait. 

 

Image via BBC
 

Are you excited for this classic fantasy series to finally get its well-deserved TV adaptation? Below, you can watch the official trailer for the show. Let us know what you think in the comments!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Collider

 

Introduce New Readers to the World of Literature With These Young Adult Picks!

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent young adult books for your reading pleasure. Young adult novels are generally written with a twelve to eighteen age bracket in mind but over half of the audience for YA novels are adults (as Bookstr readers can attest!) Young adult novels are often just as sophisticated as their adult contemporaries, often exploring themes self exploration, coming-of-age, relationships, trauma and love. Below, are some of our favorite recently published YA must-reads!

 

5. THe Haunted by Danielle Vega

 

A young girl lit by psychadelic neon stands in a dark void

Image via Amazon

The Haunted is a spooky new novel filled to the brim with ghosts. A teenage girl named Hendricks moves to the small town of Drearfield. Hendricks wants to a start a new life, trying to forget her dark and traumatic past, but things don’t work out as planned. She learns from her new friends about the notorious Steele House, a dark house, said to be haunted. And then, Hendricks ends up moving into Steele House with her parents. Here, she finds herself dealing with, whispers in the night, doors that lock on their own, and frightening apparitions that torment her with her own memories. Hendricks now has to grapple with the hauntings and take down the ghosts, if they don’t get her first!

 

4. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

 

A young African-American girls stands amidst a group of sunflower seeds with a parrot flying off her shoulder

Image via Amazon

Dealing In Dreams is a dystopian thriller following a young woman called Nalah, leader of a gang of girls who roam the fierce streets of Mega City. Nalah, however, wants more out life than violent showdowns with the other gangs that prowl the streets at night. She wants a life in the esteemed Mega Towers, where only the elite get to go. To prove herself, Nalah must journey beyond the bounds of the city in search of a mysterious gang. As she journeys, she encounters peril, both outward and within, and begins to lose sight of everything she cares about as she grows closer to her goal.

 

3. Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

A group of street kings sit around a graffiti strewn wall listening to hip hop

Image Via Amazon

On the streets of Brooklyn in 1998, hot on the heels of the murder of Biggie Smalls, another musically talented kid, Steph is murdered. But his friends, Quadir and Jarrell plan to make sure his music lives on. Promoting his music under the name the Architect, Steph becomes huge. As everyone listens to the Architect, a hot new music exec wants the Architect’s mixtape for himself. And as they become more famous, they must confront Steph’s past and figure out what happened to him, revealing secrets they kept from each other along the way as well.

 

2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

 

The gold plated sigil of a eagle

Image via Amazon

The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, head of the once great Grisha Army, is leader of a country threatened by a bloody civil war. Nikolai must forge new alliances and stop an army gathering at his country’s borders. But inwardly, Nikolai is facing his own struggle. Dark magic rots him from within and slowly but surely, he’s struggling to beat the darkness that threatens to overtake him. Nikolai must journey across his country to conquer the darkness, even as the rising tide of the country’s war threatens to engulf all.

 

1. The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan 

 

A Muslim girl stands on a green backdrop

Image via Amazon

The Love & Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan tells the story of seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali who is secretly a lesbian. Unable to come out to her conversative Muslim parents, she can’t wait to go to college and escape her family. But her parents catch her kissing another girl and drag her off to Bangladesh for an extended vacation. In isolation, Rukhsana is met with her worst nightmare as she faces religious intolerance, bigotry, and homophobia. But she finds allies in this world and may even find strength within to forge her own future. This heartfelt novel showcases an aching portrait of isolation in your own culture and shows that love is love, no matter where it comes from.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon

The Internet Reacts to J.K. Rowling’s Grindledore Tweet

The dust has settled from J.K. Rowling’s latest Twitter revelation where the renowned author of the Harry Potter universe told us Dumbledore and Grindlewad were in an ‘intense’ sexual relationship. Rowling has become renowned for casually dropping details about her beloved fantasy series that shake up our view of the world with details we weren’t necessarily keen to know. Luckily, as we attempt to process her latest bit of information and wait with nervous trepidation for the next one, the internet had some hilarious responses to Rowling’s latest bit of unwanted Potter trivia. Here are some of the best ones from the Twitterverse.

Like Ben Rosen, who showed us that Rowling was getting a little too real.

Or The Bottom Text, V, who summed up most of the fanbase’s reaction.

Or a few of these Tweeters, who accurately showed how Rowling announces these things without prompting.

But perhaps the best was this Tweeter, who compiled a list of Rowling’s musings and showed all the strange revelations from over the years.

What were some of your favorite memes and responses to J.K. Rowling’s latest revelation? And what are your opinions of her continued ‘interesting’ trivia pieces about her universe? Are you ready for what her next terrifying piece of information might be? We’re certainly not!

Featured Image Via Variety