This has been a year involving several months of travel so my reading has not been at my usual rate or even per the plans I'd made at the end of 2018. Despite that, it has been a year of lovely literary discoveries and much learning. And, if you've been following along for a while, you'll know I don't set much store in having high book-reading counts. Defeats the purpose, don't you think? What I aim to do, with all my logging and counting, is to ensure I'm reading a good balance of genres and being inclusive and diverse with my book choices. Hence the charts at the end.
July's monthly column at PopMatters featured five short stories about siblings by these fine contemporary writers: Martha Bátiz, K Anis Ahmed, Jenny Zhang, Lidudumalingani, and Kseniya Melnik. While there are certainly wonderful classics by writers like D H Lawrence, Flannery O'Connor, et al, these contemporary writers have explored finer and deeper nuances of sibling relationships using singular narrative styles and voices.
In her second short story collection, Waiting, Nighat Gandhi explores many of the same preoccupations that have dominated both her fiction and non-fiction thus far but with even more minute and interior details. [...] In this latest collection too, Gandhi’s women are trying to comprehend and address subjects and themes that are either taboo or fetishised. However, their voices are still repressed – questioning, rebelling, or negotiating inside their heads – as they themselves remain trapped in their worlds, waiting passively for something to change.