I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.
Laila Lalami was supposed to visit our university in March; of course, the event was cancelled, as most things have been since that time. But in preparation, I read two of her novels.
The first, "The Moor's Account" is a tour-de-force historical epic framed from the point-of-view of the slave, who gets just a line in the official sixteenth century account. I was blown away.
The second, "The Other Americans," is a contemporary family story. With blurbs from J.M. Coetzee and Viet Thanh Nguyen, Lalami needs no additional praise from me.
But let me do this: I will draw you a Venn Diagram of the mind. In the intersection of a book like Tommy Orange's "There, There," in which each chapter switches to a different character's point-of-view to tell a part of the story, and a book like Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake," which tells the story of an immigrant family's experiences building a life in the United States of our time, lives "The Other Americans."
Of course, "The Other Americans" is its own story. And "There, There" and "The Namesake" are just two examples of many that could work in this model. But they are the ones that came to mind. It's a fun exercise.
In the end, I recommend both of these Lalami books unreservedly. Try them. Expand your circles.