While not as well-rounded as Beauty is A Wound, Man Tiger, first published in 2004, is a great introduction to Eka Kurniawan and Indonesian literature. After all, it tops out at 172 pages, versus Beauty is a Wound (first published in 2002) which has 470 pages.
Man Tiger is not so much a whodunnit as a whydunnit. There is a murder. A man in a small village has been killed. Everyone knows that it was Margio, who insists:
“It wasn’t me,” he said calmly and without guilt. “There is a tiger inside my body.”
There are a lot of mystical elements to the story, which is told in a cyclical, rather conversational manner (perhaps in the Indonesian storytelling fashion?). But this is also a story about an ill-matched relationship, a couple who are constantly at loggerheads, a broken family.
Man Tiger could be described as crime fiction, maybe magic realism (although when I see those two words, I tend to flee from the book, so scratch that), domestic fiction? I don’t know, I guess the easy way out would be to file it under ‘translated fiction’ as it doesn’t really seem to fit into any proper genre. But if you’re looking for a different, diverse, translated read, one that’s quick, one that’s different, and yet also gory (you should see the way Margio kills the man), passionate, and just completely apt for autumn (i.e. ripe for any Readers Imbibing in Peril, or just up for a weird read).
First things first. If you haven’t watched the Gilmore Girls reboot – and especially if you’ve never seen Gilmore Girls at all – you really should just go carve out a good chunk of your time and go watch them all. Right now. Pop some popcorn, make lots of coffee, get in your pjs and settle down with Netflix. There are seven seasons and 4 90-minute episodes!
I’ve been watching and rewatching the original Gilmore Girls for years. And of course I watched the re-whatever it was when it came out. It was both exciting and comforting and also at times a bit disappointing (more Lane!! More Mrs Kim!! More Jess!! Why was Rory not even reading a book?? I love Matt Czuchry (Logan) but I did not like what he and Rory had going o). And that weird bit where they sit by the pool, I would just skip that entirely. Also while I love Sutton Foster, I won’t rewatch the Stars Hollow musical.)
An attempt at bookface for Litsy the other day only to realize later that my hair is horrendous! I wasn’t at all disappointed with this book though. I mean sure you can’t go into it expecting writing that blows you away. But if you’re a GG fan then I think you would be happy with it. Lauren Graham writes in a friendly conversational way. Like you were sitting at Luke’s and eating burgers and fries and she was right opposite you, telling you all this. And pancakes and coffee. And tacos and coffee. It would be a really loonnng conversation.
Part of me wishes I listened to this as an audiobook but neither of the libraries I’m a member of had it in their Overdrive so eh. But I guess I could always sign up for Audible or something.
But back to the book. The best part of it is of course when Graham talks about the show she is most famous for. But she also talks about her childhood (she lived in Japan! Her mom was so glamorous!), she walks us through what it was like for her starting out as an actor and more. Interesting enough, but you know it’s kind of filler for what this book is really marketed to be – the book for the Gilmore Girls fan, published not long after the reboot appeared.
And it was a fun light-hearted read. It made me smile and gave me the warm fuzzies sometimes, as she reminisced about the show. You don’t go into a book like this expecting anything profound or insightful. It was a quick fun read and I just adored it for what it is, and pretty much what you expect from the subtitle From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between....more
I was surprised by this tale of two women in Afghanistan. In 2007, Rahima, a girl in a family of girls, becomes a bacha posh, a cultural practice in wI was surprised by this tale of two women in Afghanistan. In 2007, Rahima, a girl in a family of girls, becomes a bacha posh, a cultural practice in which families without sons pick a daughter to live and behave as a boy. In 1900, Shekiba struggles as her family dies from cholera. Male relatives trade her away. A moving story of silenced voices separated by a century, their struggles similar despite the generations between them. ...more
The first book I finished, though officially I started it on the last day of 2016, was quite a read. It was a book I didn’t quite know that I needed to read, until I read it. Don’t you just love when that happens?
I like how it opens, and how in this first journal entry that we read, Quintero sets the scene for the book.
"July 24 My mother named me Gabriela, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White."
Quintero pretty much establishes what the issues that drives her novel, especially Gabi’s struggles to be a modern Mexican-American young woman, in what is more of a patriarchal culture.
Among the very many things that happens in this book are:
– date rape
– teenaged pregnancy
– a gay teen coming out
– drug addiction
and some other things that I probably shouldn’t point out because spoilers.
But, I don’t know, it’s a lot. I don’t mean to say that this all couldn’t be happening to a group of friends and their families out there. I’m not an American teenager, maybe this is all more common than I imagine. When I was Gabi’s age, I was in school in Singapore, where uniforms are required, shoes had to be white, long hair on girls had to be tied up, boys’ hair couldn’t touch the collars etc. It just seems like it was far more innocent times then (obviously I feel like I am too old for this book….! Why couldn’t it have been written and published when I was an actual teenager?).
I adored Gabi’s growing into her own creativity, learning to write poetry, expressing her emotions in what she writes, and her letters to her father made me tear up.
But that cover. Can we talk about that cover? Having read the book now, I understand where the cover art is coming from but if I had randomly come across this book on the shelves of a bookstore or a library, I would never have picked it up.
I loved Gabi. I wrote in my Litsy review that I just wished I could give her a hug! She’s fierce, independent, strong-willed, smart and funny. And I love her honesty, her vulnerability, her strong bonds with her friends and family. What a great read this was. Why didn’t I read it earlier when everyone was saying it, just read it!...more