Diversity in Reading Meme

I’m usually not big on meme’s.  And in this case, I am fully aware that my own reading is a far cry from where it should be.  However, as I read through the meme’s done by Dana and bookgirl, I realized that I have done some wide reading in the past year or so.  Now, if only I could get out of my young adult rut and sit at the big people’s literary table.

1. Name the last book by a female author that you’ve read.

I’m currently reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth.  Finished the first of the short stories today.  But if we’re going to be legalistic about things, I finished A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle yesterday.

2. Name the last book by an African or African-American author that you’ve read.

The book I’m currently teaching in my Grade 12 World Literature class – Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga.  A female coming of age story set in 1960’s Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

3. Name one from a Latino/a author.

I’m in the middle of In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez.  She’s one of my favorite authors.  I don’t know why it’s been so hard to get through this book though.

4. How about one from an Asian country or Asian-American?

Another one from my World Literature class – Silence by Shusaku Endo.  I also taught a young adult book this year to my Grade 7 students titled Year of Impossible Goodbyes – by Sook Nyul Choi.

5. What about a GLBT writer?

This one’s hard.  I can’t say for certain here.  It would probably be long ago with something like The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

6. Why not name an Israeli/Arab/Turk/Persian writer, if you’re feeling lucky?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.  That feels like a bit of a cop-out though.  Hasn’t everyone read that?

7. Any other “marginalized” authors that you’ve read lately?

Let me take this opportunity to rave about a book I just finished – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  I had seen so many recommendations for this book around blogs, on twitter, and on lists for young adult reads.  Another teacher and I picked up 2 copies of the book a couple weeks ago on a school book-shopping trips.  Should’ve only picked up one.  Because of the conservative nature of our school and some of the swearing and blase references to masturbation, we won’t be able to put the book on our middle school shelves (probably not even on the shelves of our high school classroom libraries) but this book was AMAZING!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book that paints the picture of this marginalized population of the United States in such vivid detail – especially for a young adult audience.  Read it.

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About msbecs

An incomplete but alphabetical list: Believer. Daughter. Friend. Learner. Librarian. Sister. TCK. Teacher. YA Literature Devotee.

Posted on 05.03.2009, in Reading and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is a really thought-provoking meme. I definitely focus on getting lots of African-American literature in front of my students, but should work on expanding to other groups as well.
    Your “big kid lit” comment made me laugh–YA is just more fun!
    It’s too bad that Part-Time Indian is too controversial for your school; it’s a favorite of every student at my middle school that has read it! As long as things don’t criticize Christianity, we’re in the clear at my school.

    • Thanks for the comment. I checked out your blog and am definitely going to be keeping up with your reviews. I really like hearing what other MS teachers are putting in front of their students. Are you an international teacher? I’ve been teaching at an international school in the Philippines for 2 1/2 years.

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