5 Most Popular Posts: June 2020
- July 2, 2020
We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. Seriously, though, here are June’s winners.
- “The Demise” by E.A. Aymar. “There’s a potential for change in crime fiction, too. The disregarded voices of women and marginalized writers have become too pressing to ignore, whether it’s cries of harassment or racism. Every year, it seems, a controversy explodes. And, every year, the frustration is double-edged: anger over the incident, and anger over the response to the incident. I can’t imagine these incidents will end. Racism and harassment are too formidable an opponent. So what can be done?”
- Jenny Ferguson’s review of So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Seal Press). “The book is divided into chapters that tackle issues such as the myth that class is a bigger problem than race or what racism and micro-aggressions actually are. But what makes So You Want to Talk About Race such a strong addition to books that address race is that the author also turns her eye toward much more complex issues like intersectionality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and cultural appropriation with wit and heart.”
- “The Original Cancel Culture” by Alice Stephens. “This is our original cancel culture: white gatekeepers favoring white voices that cater to a white audience. The original cancel culture is an overwhelmingly white publishing industry that enthusiastically promotes the stories and voices that they most identify with while ignoring those that are too difficult, too painful, too weird, or too radical for the pristine ears and fragile feelings of their coddled readership. The original cancel culture is Jesmyn Ward fighting to get a $100,000 book advance after winning the National Book Award, while Jeanine Cummins was reported to have received $1 million for American Dirt.”
- Matthew N. Green’s review of Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele (Basic Books). “Shelby Steele’s well-written but ultimately disappointing Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country seeks to explain the polarized nature of American politics and society. While the book will find an eager audience among those inclined to agree with Steele that the 1960s and liberalism are to blame for what ails America, it will frustrate not only those on the Left but any reader hoping for a persuasive, empirically sound argument that sheds new light on liberalism or American polarization.”
- J.H. Bográn’s review of Keep Saying Their Names: A Novel by Simon Stranger; translated by Matt Bagguley (Knopf). “In a twist of fate, it was the same house where Hirsch’s son, Gerson Komissar, and Gerson’s wife, Ellen, would come to live with their two daughters, Janicke and Grete. But this temporary residency has disastrous effects for Ellen, and, by extension, for her marriage, as she can’t reconcile the house’s past with her new life. Janicke and Grete act out plays in the cellar — the same cellar that once witnessed countless screams and suffering brought upon by Rinnan and his gang.”