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Best Reading from my Third Semester

An irrelevant picture of me and my friends this past semester
     Once again, this semester's schoolwork took precedence over this blog.  It had to happen, but now I'm back to let you all know about the wonderful books I read in my classes.
     On an unrelated note, feel free to add me on LinkedIn!  I made an account but I only have four connections so far, it's very sad.

Novels
1. Cane by Jean Toomer - A gorgeous genre-blending novel which describes the lives of black people in rural Georgia in the early twentieth century.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - The greatest self-love story of all time.

3. Passing by Nella Larson - A novel which examines the complex friendship between two wealthy black women, one of whom passes for white.

4. Smoke, Lilies and Jade, a Novel by Richard Bruce - A semi-autobiographical, experimental text peppered with ellipses and the names of great Harlem Renaissance artists.

Short Stories
1. "The Closing Door" by Angeline Grimke - This story demonstrates with intimate, heart-breaking clarity the effects of white supremacy on black families, and particularly on black mothers.

2. "Sea Oak" by George Saunders - A dark satire of economic mobility in the United States, involving male strippers and the undead.

3. "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" by Jhumpa Lahiri - This delicately detailed story presents the narrator's childhood memory of Mr. Pirzada, a Pakistani botanist who befriends her Indian parents and privately fears for his family back home in war-torn Dacca. 

4. "Tiny, Smiling Daddy" by Mary Gaitskill - A story of traumatic disconnect between a father and his queer daughter.

Can't Forget About...
Fire!! - A literary magazine which was founded by writers like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, and Richard Bruce during the Harlem Renaissance.  Fire!! was badly received at the time and ended up printing only one issue, but now it's a collector's item.  It contains, among other works, an short play by Hurston which was never performed (!!!).  If you're a fangirl like me and want to learn more about the magazine, watch the 2004 movie Brother to Brother.

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