One of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s friends asked her for advice on how to best raise her daughter as a feminist, and this book presents us with her response. This brief feminist manifesto addresses extremely relevant topics and challenges many problematic social norms. Such as the fact that girls are taught to aspire to marriage but boys are not. While reading I did not think that this book was particularly radical – but that could be down to the seamless way Adichie presents her views. They don’t seem like shocking revelations, but simple truths. For Adichie feminism boils down to never forgetting that women matter equally. I really appreciated this clear cut exploration of feminism. If you believe women matter just as much as men then you are a feminist – it can be as simple as that. Though Adichie points out that this belief should not be superficial. You may not agree with everything said in this book, but it really encourages you to evaluate your beliefs as well as society at large.
HARLEY QUINN (THE NEW 52)
Harley Quinn is one of my favourite fictional characters so I was sure that I would like this comic, and I do! Harley gets up to a lot in this solo series from becoming the landlord of an apartment building full of crazy characters. To taking out assassins in the most sadistic and gory ways possible. She definitely is not the cutesy but obsessive henchwoman that was first introduced in Batman: The Animated Series. I certainly understand why people prefer the old Harley Quinn, but I also enjoy seeing her as a more independent figure. We are given a modern Harley that has overcome her toxic relationship with the Joker, and is free to have adventures of her own. There are aspects of this series that are very over the top and Harley sometimes seems a little too crazy – but that’s all part of the fun! The vibrant and detailed artwork transports you into Harley’s world and is really engaging. I am currently on Issue #8 and look forward to finishing the series.
PHASES: A SHORT STORY
Phases is about a young woman called Eva who has the perfect boyfriend. Avery is handsome, adoring and thoughtful. The only problem is that he dumps Eva within the first chapter. Eva experiences intense heartbreak as a result, and embarks on an uncomfortable journey of self-reflection. I really enjoyed this book and I think it portrays an important message – that you cannot love anyone until you love yourself. We have all heard this before but it reigns true. Eva has a good man that loves her, but she drives him away with her insecurity and distrust. It is not easy to present an entertaining and complete story in so few pages, but K Daniel does this well with a smooth writing style. This book is a quick read, with amusing characters, gripping scenes and a theme that pretty much anyone can relate to. Be sure to get your copy!
THE BLUEST EYE
The Bluest Eye is a heart breaking story about a young black girl called Pecola who longs for blue eyes. She equates beauty and happiness to whiteness, and her suffering to her dark skin. Beliefs that are constantly reinforced by the people around her. This is my first time reading Morrison’s work and I can see why she is celebrated. Her writing is poetry, and she has the ability to make anything sound beautiful. She also fills this novel with characters that are so intricately and sympathetically written that it is surprising they are not real. In writing this book Morrison set out to expose the impact of internalised white beauty standards, and does so successfully. My only issue with the novel is that it felt slightly disjointed due to the multiple perspectives, and Morrison uses a fragmented structure. Which meant that Pocola became an afterthought at times. I however do not think this gets in the way of the overall message or enjoyment of the book. I would definitely recommend this read, but it is not for the faint of heart. It contains instances of incest and sexual abuse, and should be approached with caution.
What have you been reading recently?