Culture + Community
January Bibliotherapy with Sivan Bogan
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
I am heading into 2018 with uncertainty, as I suppose a lot of us are. 2017 unfolded with a lot of anger and frustrations, with very little knowledge into what 2018 will bring. I am afraid and a bit lost, feelings I am familiar with but that also feel brand new every time. I had never read anything that explored these deeply intimate emotions…until A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Rebecca Solnit turns the fear of the unknown on its head. She explores topics such as loss, trust, familiarity, in deeply personal essays. Solnit captures the fear of loneliness and stillness in a beautifully poetic way. She connects these very broad and complicated topics to her own experiences and takes you with her every step of the way. It instilled a trust in me and made me want to practice embracing the unknown instead of fearing it, to even embrace the fear itself. “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. Thats where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go.”
Summary of the book from her website:
A Field Guide to Getting Lost is an investigation into loss, losing and being lost. Taking in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
I never wanted this book to end. These stories are so powerful and riveting. A must read. This book challenges the way society thinks and talks about women – this book makes you question everything. This is a series of eight stories that read like ghost stories for women everywhere. There was a story told around camp fires when I was growing up, about a girl with a ribbon tied around her neck. When the girl finally untied the ribbon, her head fell off. That story haunted my nine-year-old self. The Husbands Stitch, which is the first story in Her Body and Other Parties, is the adult version, and it is just as haunting. The central theme in all eight stories is the woman unraveling. An unraveled mind, body, and heart. Though all of these stories lean towards the magical realism and science fiction genre, Machado keeps all of the women and their stories grounded. Rooted in every part of you. Read it in the bathtub, read it with the sun on your face, read it under the covers. Read it out loud.
In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.