lundi, décembre 05, 2005

On Beauty and Other Books

Today I went to the library and picked up White Boy Shuffle upon Jalylah's suggestion. Last week I finished On Beauty and tonight I'm going to finish The Secret Life of Bees. Here's what's on my Reading List as of current:
  1. Einstein on Race and Racism
  2. Caucasia
  3. White Boy Shuffle
  4. They Forged the Signature of God
  5. Hattie McDaniel: Black Ambition, White Hollywood
  6. Smashed
  7. The Year of Magical Thinking
  8. Drown
  9. Sexual Violence and American Manhood
  10. The Kite Runner

On Beauty was definitely an interesting read. While I found Zadie Smith storytelling ability and use of multicultural, transcultural narrative themes compelling I regret her lack of understanding, depth and complexity with respect to African American culture and it will be felt so strongly by anyone who is deeply invested in Black life. Her lack of understanding about Black American culture is so evident in the novel that is makes much of the content and the book as a whole a commercially viable grotesquery. This book was the selection for a book club I held at my apartment on Saturday.

I actually glad I read it and I would suggest others to do the same. See for yourself and gather your own opinions. I was very curious about Zadie after hearing the international accolades of her debut novel White Teeth. After reading On Beauty, I am very curious to read White Teeth. This seems like back-tracking but I need to see what all the fuss is about for myself.

Though I find Mark Harris's flippant use of his appreciation of porn in this article quite disturbing, he does make some good points about Black women in film. Check it out:

gadabout -- n: Someone who roams about in search of amusement or social activity

“I believe in saying the truth, coming out with it cold, shocking if necessary, not disguising it. In other words, obscenity is a cleansing process...”
--- Henry Miller



Blogger Ayanna Damali said...

Zadie Smith is British, and that might explain her lack of understanding about our culture. She probably experiences a different reality across the pond.

I saw the "White Teeth" miniseries, and I thought it was interesting. Again, because it is British, it might be a little weird to most stateside black people...

11:47:00 PM  

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