Jemimah James Wei's Blog: The Written Kitten

December 14, 2017

The best short story I've read this year

Sorry!! I don't even know if there's a point saying sorry, it seems like every time I come back to update this space it's with a break of months in between. That's not a breather anymore, that's just negligence at this point. Ah well. Sorry again. Sorry.

I make up for it (I hope) by proffering the best short story I've read this year. It's not that short, really, but it is unequivocally the best. The story in question? Carmen Maria Machado's The Husband Stitch. Read it here: The Husband Stitch

It was published in 2014 by Granta, one of the best literary magazines on the market imho, but it's also the opener for her collection of short stories: Her Body and Other Parties which was released earlier this year, and which i bought immediately after reading The Husband Stitch.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

The story is a modern retelling of the children's horror story, The Green Ribbon. It is painful to read. You read it and think: Genre - Horror. But again, no, maybe it's Fantasy. But it's too real for fantasy, so maybe it's Magical Realism. It's hard to categorise, until you remind yourself that all genre labelling is purely a marketing strategy, and then you learn to let that go. And with that, Machado teaches us to let go of other things - to read The Husband Stitch is to unlearn our assumptions, and to make peace with a very precise discomfort, one that is specific to the state of being a woman. That is not to say that men have no place in the discussion of this narrative, but again, it is more a jolt than a lecture. There is so much I want to say, but like Jane Dykema (Electric Lit), I have no idea how to really talk about the story, except to learn to suffer the pain the story imparts. That is kind of the point, I think.

After you read the story, read Jane Dykema's essay: What I don't tell my Students about The Husband Stitch. It is written so honestly that it begs a response. Read it. Let your friends read it. Let the men in your lives read it. And watch them as they do.

You're welcome.

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Published on December 14, 2017 01:57

March 15, 2017

the way we lie

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 10.49.41 am

Character three from the left slept on her face because her mother had said, once, when she was young and napping on the marbled floor of the living room to cool down from the heat of the noonday sun, that she could see her belly hanging out. Not in a judgemental way, just observational. Her mother had said: oh, with surprise. your belly is hanging out of your panties. She hadnt been naked, she was wearing a shirt, but somehow sleeping on her side her belly had hung out from the waistband of her underwear and pushed its way through her shirt, where it formed a lumpy melon that drooped towards the floor. Since then she had always tried to remedy her body by hiding it, sleeping on her front, the horizontal surface of the bed pushing her body in into itself, tucking things, compressing things. But then she always woke up with a crease on her face.

And so when she started dating character two from the left, this drove her nuts. Character two and her started sleeping together about three months into their sort-of relationship, because of logistics. she stayed in holborn and character two, on liverpool street, on a walk up apartment with an open concept kitchen and a super single mattress. They both worked near Leicester. So it just made more sense to stay over, and that provided a sort of segue from dating into an official relationship. And she liked this proximity to another warm human being, but character two was a hugger. She slept on her side and identified as Big Spoon. This meant that she, our protagonist with mummy issues, was forced to sleep with her back stuck to character two's front, with Two's arms around her waist. Where the stomach was. This drove her crazy. She was thinking of ending it. But wouldnt every relationship demand some kind of hugging? She didn't know, and anyway, they couldnt afford a queen sized.
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Published on March 15, 2017 19:56

February 20, 2017

i am embarrassed


It has been a year since I updated this space. A year! So much for commitment. By way of weak apology, I only can offer my mumbled excuses of life and school and biting off more than i can chew..

Anyway. Here I am.

If I have not been very good at writing, I have been rather good at reading, I think. Perhaps the absorption of good writing has been a priority for me, more of circumstance than anything else, and efforts at synthesising and writing about it has just seemed an insurmountable task. I have been tracking my reading online, as always, with the transience of snapchat and instagram stories.. which leaves a lot to be unpacked, re above: commitment.

But here I am. Sorry. Sorry.

I have been incredibly blessed to have gone a good six, seven months reading only really good books. Any habitual reader will tell you that this is something of a miracle. You think books are gonna be great, and then you pick one up and it's so goddamn awful that you want to cry at 1. how lax publishing houses have gotten and 2. what a waste of your last two days have been, reading this book you kind of hoped would get better but never did after all. Does that sound like my attitude towards children? Maybe, maybe. But the last half year has been such a joy, reading wise. Here are some of the most impressionable books I've read, that I definitely recommend:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I loved this so much I read it thirteen times. I actually tried to write a post on this, here, a few months ago, but I started and failed so many times that I gave up in disgust. Bah. There are no words I can use to describe the wonder that is A Little Life. It immediately unseated any other book at the top of my list and has since claimed the spot of Favourite Book In The World for me. I went to listen to Hanya talk when she came to singapore for the singapore writer's fest, and she said nothing I didn't already realise from her writing, but it was lovely to hear her talk.

I realise this is not a review. But like I said, I find the book impossible to talk about. I suffered such a book hangover after finishing it that I went a month without reading anything new, for anything else seemed like cheating on this book. Does that make sense? Anyway: recommended level Yes. Read it, please.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah was heavily recommended to me by Tash, who's a personal friend of Chimamanda's. I don't know what took me so long to get on it, given that Tash's previous recommendation to me (Giovanni's room, see prev. post) was so wonderful that I was immediately absorbed into the entire canon of Baldwin. But anyway, mumbled excuses aside, I finally got on Americanah and was duly blown away.

There are good books, and then there are books that bring you back to life. Americanah left me feeling refreshed in a way only good literature can. It is very, very good. It is a book that will change the way you look at things - human beings, culture, privilege. The premise of the book is about black people in New York. In America-nah, as it is pronounced back in Nigeria. It is about politics, hair, social media, love, relationships, privilege, progress, trouble, tension, self awareness, and pain. And at the basis of it all, social commentary aside, it is damned good storytelling. I cannot express how much I love this book. I have since put it on my Jemma Recommends shelf in Times Bookstore (yet another privilege granted me by my double life of social media prominence, something I pushed very hard for and was incredibly blessed to have been granted), and so you can either pick it up at Changi Airport Times Bookstores (for singaporeans) or at your local bookstore/online at bookdepo.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

3. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Not exactly fiction, but makes the list anyway. This is a series of short essays by Roxane, the same author of An Untamed State which I wrote about a few posts ago. Ha. There are so few posts on this book blog that everything is a few posts ago. Sorry, again. I promise to be better about this.

Bad Feminist is hard to read, but it is necessary. I bought it for a girlfriend and myself, and we read it simultaneously, updating each other with our impressions and emotions via text. Like a cyber-reading date, if you will. After the book, she texted me: they should make this necessary reading for every human being in the world. I couldn't agree more. Roxane is the gender studies professor we never knew we needed. Her work is full of pain, logic, and precision. It is full of beauty. The premise of Bad Feminist is exactly what it sounds like. How can you claim to be a feminist and still enjoy songs like Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines? Answers to these, and more. Don't just buy and read this, buy and give it away for birthdays, anniversaries, whatever occasion demands a present. For what better present could you give someone? Than the gift of perspective?

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels #1) by Elena Ferrante

4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

I bought this because everyone seemed to be talking about it for a while, plus there was this huge scandal online on how the NYT ran this expose on Ferrante's real identity (it's a pen name), which is actually really rude. Leave the woman alone! Jeez.

But anyway. I bought it and read the first chapter, then got distracted with other things. The first chapter is slow. The first chapter is the best example of how you can not judge a book by its first chapter. For I picked it up again after a few months, and it was holy shit so fantastic. It's essentially written in the style of a bildungsroman, and follows the friendship of two young italian girls of different background and social status. The writing is rice-cooker writing, and slowly warms you up from the inside, all the while building a steady pressure. What a master of the art, this mysterious Ferrante woman is. It's the first of four novels, and I've already ordered the other three online. Waiting for them to come now.

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

5. The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

I must confess that I bought this because it is the one other book written by the woman who gifted the world with A Little Life. But what a pleasure. This book was brilliant. It took her 18 years to write, as opposed to the 18 months ALL required (how infuriating), and it shows in the writing. It combines science, myth, magical realism, and touches on very, very problematic issues. I would compare it to Lolita, I think, in terms of style and subject, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in terms of accepting certain modes of in-story myth. It is also a lot shorter than A little Life, which makes it significantly less intimidating for a non-habitual reader to approach. So good. The few other people i recommended it to also enjoyed it very much, so I feel quite happy with putting it on this list of mine.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

6. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Again, I don't know what took me so long to read this. It's practically a classic by now. But I really, really enjoyed it: a book told form the perspective of a young boy growing up half in love with these mysterious sisters living ferreted away by their parents in this huge house. The book opens with a suicide, and the theme of death and why continues to haunt the rest of the book. I have never been a teenage boy but this book made me feel like I was one once, a fashion ago. Again, another book with fantastic storytelling. I loved the narratorial voice, and fell in love with that almost as much as the draw of the story.


So. Six recommendations for the six months I've had a good reading season of. What a privilege and blessing to find such joy in the words and lives of others. As the year rolls on I will find myself reading more, and writing more, I hope, and I promise - promise!! To be better with this book blog.

Till next time x

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Published on February 20, 2017 01:35

February 10, 2016

give me two hours and i will give you:


I read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin today, a zwei hour affair and a surprise. I read it by recommendation of a professor, which is to say I expected to read something of literary value which I might not necessarily enjoy. It seems too often the case - and I know I will get lynched by the hardcore literary fanatics for saying this - but I feel like a child approaching a new book sometimes, both fists in the air, demanding to be entertained, whether by story, plot, or language.. because you can be very beautiful, yes, and your form can be so very elegant, and you might be nominated for a ton of awards for your sensitive handling of this or that issue, but why do you have to be so damned boring at the same time?

This applies to film too. Citizen Kane I'm looking at you. And so the circle of people ready to burn me at the stake widens.

When I say this people sometimes look scandalised, in a way that suggests they want to strip me of my degree in english literature (first class, thank you very much), and then rip away my rights to my current course of study (a masters in the very same), and so I have stopped saying this. In public. Instead I say it on the internet where I cannot see anyone's reaction, where I am just shouting out into a great white judgemental void. Ah. Intelligent.

Anyway. It is therefore with pleasant surprise that I found myself ripping through Giovanni's Room, a book that is painful in slaps, sharp, and oh - so funny. And fine, yes, it is beautifully written. Books like these make me roll my eyes back in envy: I wish I had been born earlier, I wish I had thought of this first, I wish I had written this first.. but too late for all that, and I flatter myself anyway: I can't produce anything like this, not now. I will be sharp and witty and funny one day in the future. This is what I tell myself. And Giovanni has something to say of the future too:

"One of these days," he said. "Everything bad will happen - one of these days."

When penning reviews I often ask myself how I can write anything of value without giving away the game. There's no need to with this book, let me just lay it out: Giovanni dies. Don't look at me like that, because the protagonist himself says so within the first few pages. It's not a mystery novel, though I hate using that word - I hate the idea of genre writing. Good writing is good writing, it is only commercial concerns that separates them into stupid subcategories that do nothing for the book itself - because then Madam Bovary would be considered chick lit, wouldn't it? But I digress. The book isn't about plot, not this one. It's about character and writing and prose and it is beautiful.

So, an induction. The protagonist is an American in Paris (not to be confused with the broadway musical) who is half-engaged to a woman who has gone away to Spain to decide if she wants to accept his marriage proposal or not. I find this hilarious because it is extremely american, this state of half-ness: nobody in America is in a real relationship, they're all just kind of, hanging out. At least, the ones I know. Anyway. He goes to Paris and falls in love with an Italian barboy. Sparks fly and all that. They live together in the barboy's little room down near Nation, a room where all the action originates and tries to divorce itself from. And then things happen, as they so often do in books and real life, and then Giovanni is to be executed. The book ends.

The beauty of the book lies not just in it's story, but in the way it is written. When reading a book it is a habit of mine to highlight lines I like: with this one, I basically coloured the whole damned book. It's that kind of book. And it touches on themes too, I suppose, it ignites discussion on sexuality, of the bi or homo variety, but the concerns of the novella never seemed forced down your throat. They seem to happen by accident to the story, which is how the best of concerns should happen, obviously. Nobody likes being told how to feel. This is why movies play background music at the level just below your conscious register, so you don't realise that you're crying not because you're really sad that the star crossed lovers cant be together, or because the dog died, but because the music is emotionally nudging you to brim and spill over. But sorry, yes, it is very sad when a dog dies in a movie. I dont know why I say these things.

This and that and it always comes back to the writing for me, always the writing. The writing is sharp - I've said that already - and hilarious but it is also tender and very, very sad. I think the word I am looking for is human. There is this one point in the book the protagonist writes about his almost-wife:

I loved her as much as ever and I still did not know how much that was.

Which felt like almost as bad a slap as this line:

And then, again, I was undergoing with my father what the very young inevitably undergo with their elders: I was beginning to judge him.

We were not like father and son, my father sometimes proudly said, we were like buddies. I think my father sometimes actually believed this. I never did. I did not want to be his buddy; I wanted to be his son.

The book is just full of whammies.

It is - and I dont say this often - an extraordinary book. 10/10 would recommend. And the best part is, for all of you who complain that I only recommend long books and that you have no time to read it (which is a bullshit reason, by the way, make time), it's only a hundred and fifty pages long. So get to it. Tout de suite. That's French for pronto.

Giovanni's Room
Paid: $9.90 for it on Amazon Kindle
Reading time: 2 hours

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Published on February 10, 2016 06:08

legal bookwormin'

Hey guys,

Short post here. I get a lot of questions on how I get my books - if I buy everything, or borrow, or read off my phone, which, concerning the whole book vs e-copy debate, my stance remains the same - as long as I get to read, I dont care how..

But yes. I just wanted to quickly introduce this app I've been using, called Overdrive. It basically connects you to your local library and you can add as many libraries as you have memberships to. And then, you can legally borrow ecopies of books the libraries have in their digital repositories to read on your phone or computer. Tada!

Obviously, not all books are on this, but a pretty healthy number, and, it's legal. I've already read three books off it ever since downloading it in January, so yes. Worth checking out, you guys.

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Published on February 10, 2016 01:41 Tags: overdrive

February 7, 2016



Once upon a time, in a far-off land, I was kidnapped by a gang of fearless yet terrified young men with so much impossible hope beating inside their bodies it burned their very skin and strengthened their will right through their bones. They held me captive for thirteen days.

They wanted to break me.
It was not personal.
I was not broken.
This is what I tell myself.


Thus opens Roxane Gay's An Untamed State.

I've always followed Roxane's nonfiction - her blog, her work in PANK and The Rumpus (both of which she is editor). I also creepily tweet her from time to time, of which her response rate has been 0%. I have become accustomed to rejection.

Point being - this is the first piece of longform fiction of hers I've picked up. I stumbled upon it in Three Lives and Company, an independent bookstore down West Village. The wonderful thing about living in New York for two months is, you dont feel pressurised to do stuff with every minute of your time, the same way you would if you'd dropped by Paris for say, a week. In this way I spent many afternoon winding down the threads of bookstores, libraries.. and in my two months, I ticked off exactly none of the things I'd originally wanted to do in New York, like see the Top of the Rock. So it goes. But I digress.

I wandered into Three lives and Company while waiting for a friend who might or might not show up for our dinner plans (he did). I happened upon the book - though, circumstantially, it would be more accurate to say that this book happened to me. And seventeen dollars and a cup of coffee later, I was sitting in a Toby's Estate down 44 Charles Street, two chapters in and shaking. I remember thinking to myself: This would be a great time to be stood up; I could finish my book. And as life would have it, said friend showed up in a bluster of cold air and near-snow. And I had to reluctantly finger a crease in the page to bookmark it, saving it for a late(r) night indulgence.

I got back later that night, showered, and dropped like a stone on the couch. I opened the book again. And I did not stop until I finished it. The entire time I was reading it my housemate slouched on the adjacent couch, high off his face, asking me over and over again if I wanted a hit.

"No, dude, I do not want a hit."

I would say, tears running down my face.

And then I finished the book at three in the morning, after two hours of ugly crying, and exhaled heavily. My housemate looked up.

"That book looked like it was hard to read," he mumbled, surprisingly coherent.
"It was."

I wanted to say more, but I couldnt. I went to sleep.

The thing about this book is that it is clearly written by a female, for females. I feel strangely protective over the book, as if I don't want to let any guy near it unless I am sure they would get it, you know, truly get it. I went back to the bookstore the next day and bought two more copies, and gave them away with my own to some of my girlfriends. It is a book that I would think any female would resonate with.

An Untamed State claims to be non-fiction, and talks about a rich Haitian woman who marries an American, goes back to Haiti to visit her family, and gets kidnapped for ransom. It is common in Haiti, and that is a refrain that is repeated in the book over and over again. This is the most well known fact about Haiti, the country, non fiction. It does not make it okay.

The protagonist is kidnapped and held for thirteen days. Over these thirteen days she is raped, violated, and abused multiple times. It is painful to read. A line I remember specifically, that occurs before the first time she is raped:

"He rubbed his hands together. I would never forget that sound, the empty whisper of soft hands preparing to do hard things."

Again, it is painful to read.

The book is intense, and raw, and incredible. And after the book happened i wondered for a long time why it affected me so much, and then I realised: this book pretends to be non fiction, but for many women all over the world, it is not. This book details the reality for many women the world over. This book is only fiction for the privileged, women who have lived their lives in blind and very, very fortunate safety, reading it over a glass of wine on the couch, then putting it away after and thinking, well, that was horrible. It is only fiction for a small percentage of women.

The book talks about how difficult it is to come to terms with life, after. This is not something I feel I can talk about in a way that can do justice to Roxane's work. It is also a call to pick up her book yourself, to read it. It's worth it.

I don't know how a man might react to the book - I have yet to find a male friend willing to pick it up. Hell, I have few enough male friends who are willing to read, dammit Singapore. But if any of you are guys and pick this up - let me know how it affects you. I'd want to know.

And for women, the world over:

This book will break your heart.
It will not fix it back up,
but it might show you how to begin
to try.

An Untamed State
Roxane Gay
An Untamed State

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Published on February 07, 2016 06:34

February 3, 2016

A Real Life Thing

that I am doing, is being a panelist at a writer's symposium this march in Singapore called All In! Young Writer's Festival. It's organised by the book council of Singapore and I'm speaking at something called STRIKE THE PROSE: Fashion, Travel & Special Interest Blogging, which to be honest, is probably the only thing I really qualify for given that I have published exactly zero books and am a sort of serial anthologist at this point. Under-the-sheets writer. The literary equivalent of a shower singer.

I did an interview for the festival here, and you can check out the festival schedule here. My slot is 1pm at the National Library of Singapore. You know. If any one wants to come. PS. I like my coffee iced, with no sugar added. x

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Published on February 03, 2016 09:34

January 25, 2016

January Embers.. Again


Twenty Sixteen.

How did we get six months by without updating here even once? I am ashamed. When I first started this book blog I felt this strange sense of excitement, like new things were happening, like i had a new avenue to write and log the books i read, etcetera etcetera. Of course, 'like' is used loosely here, i still do, i just havent been as on the ball as I thought I would be. It's disappointing. As we so frequently are.

I was in New York City the last two months of 2015, and one thing I love so much about the big city is this - everyone reads. And I do mean everyone. Someone turned to me and asked me - so, what are you reading now? And I was ashamed to realise that I hadnt been reading as much as I used to. But starting conversations with strangers everywhere inevitably ended up bringing the topic of reading to the forefront of my mind - there are only so many things you can discuss with a stranger in a city where everyone reads: the weather, niceties, and books.

Here are some things I read recently:

We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Barfly by Charles Bukowski [screenplay]
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Bread and Chocolate by Philippa Gregory
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Of the lot, the only one that blew me away - and I really do mean blew me away, was An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. I dont even know where to begin with this book - I read it and cried so much I think I scared my housemate half to death. Its a book that I imagine can and will resonate with most females. It's intense and painful and I read it cover to cover twice in a sitting. It's about a woman from Haiti who marries out, and then goes back to Haiti to visit, and gets kidnapped. It is about a woman to whom horrible things happen, and when I bought the book for a couple of my girlfriends, in it I wrote-

this book will break your heart
it will not show you how to put it back together
but it will try

I spent a lot of 2015 sifting through horrible books, but to have found this one gem.. it was all worth it. 10/10 recommend.

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Published on January 25, 2016 08:51

April 24, 2015

As good as it gets


With the prime cram time upon us I've been spending an unusual amount of time reading screenplays over books - partly because of time considerations, partly because I'm venturing into a new genre of writing at the moment, eight thousand-turned-ten thousand words of a new original screenplay due, written, edited, aggressively. I must have read some thirty screenplays in the past month alone. But it is with quiet and surprised joy that I find myself enjoying them so much - more, even, than watching an actual movie. Screenwriters are so frequently underrated, the focus of most audiences falling on the calibre of acting or chemistry onscreen, or the elaborate sets, und so weiter. But when you turn to screenplays, you'll find them rapid, skilful, and frequently funny..

It is a little known fact that you can find virtually any screenplay on the internet. They're meant to be widely available, I believe due to the emergence of BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT award competitions and titles. They're most likely not to be the exact final version that makes it to the big screen, but they're pretty close, finishing stages on the cutting board and all that. Just google + and it should come up. I just thought I'd take the time to share two of my favourites over the past month: As Good As It Gets by Mark Andrus and Shakespeare in Love by Tom Stoppard, who is more famously known for Arcadia and the like.

As Good As It Gets is what I probably consider my favourite screenplay... ever. I first read it two years ago, about a year after catching the movie, and I fell in love with it ever since. When you read a screenplay you're exposed to the nuances of the character, things that the director later has to pick up in attempts at understanding the character motivations, that actors use to slip into character more convincingly and that they try so hard to portray. When you read a screenplay that is as well written as AGAIG.. you read love.

How do you write women so well?

(as he turns
toward her)
I think of a man and take away
reason and accountability.

It is also funny.

As Good As It Gets was a great, fantastic movie. It was an equally fantastic screenplay. How often can you say that these days, with the entire the book was totally better than the movie refrain being so familiar to us now? It stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear, and for a movie produced in 1997 I consider it surprisingly progressive in terms of its consideration of frequently politicised issues such as the integration/acceptance of the LGBT community in a way that doesn't seem overly done. It's sentimental, witty, and touching. People are sick in it, in many different ways, and they try to do with it what they can. And of course, it involves a grumpy writer. You'd think we'd have had enough of this, writers writing about writers, but no. It's an age old trope that when played beautifully, can work in a wonderful way.

He kisses her. An awkward bomb of a kiss. They separate.
A tense beat. Then:

I know I can do better.

They embrace again. He does indeed do much better. A first-class smooch.

There's a rapid fireness that doesn't play out the same way in most books, and that only sometimes translates to the screen. AGAIG is.. the kind of screenplay I can only aspire towards writing one day. I love it so much I've read it over and over again over the past few years. It really is as good as it gets.

Read it:

A short one: the second screenplay I wanted to highlight is not a new one by any means, but it's one I only read last month. I generally try to avoid Tom Stoppard because I have to study him within the realms of academia and other than that I just want to .. I don't know, read something else. But Shakespeare in Love, which shot to fame as a star studded movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, and Judi Dench in it, was enjoyable both academically and entertainment-value-wise. It helps if you've read Romeo and Juliet of course, because then you'll catch the subtle easter eggs and jokes, but I can't imagine someone new to the canon being disadvantaged in any way. I've not actually caught the movie yet, feeling sated just on the screenplay alone, but I suppose I will have to once the finals are over and done with. Hurray!

Read it:

Well, that's about it. Two reading recommendations for the time-conscious, two I personally enjoyed very much. I'm really writing this from a tiny corner in Starbucks, where I should be revising for a couple of exams coming up, but as always, life ... happened. Back to it, then.

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Published on April 24, 2015 23:19

April 13, 2015

So, it's April already


When I first started this book blog I thought I'd have a lot more time to write than this, but somehow life, predictably, has taken over. Let no one be surprised, least of all me.

Anyway, over the past month I've been working on a series of short stories about relationships that things happen to, if it sounds vague, that's because it is. I had two poems written by my seventeen year old self published in a book now out in stores called Equatorial Sunshine, and did a reading/Q&A for it along with a panel of other local writers. I don't quite know how to feel about it because while I enjoy these events I do feel as though it wasn't my best work or something that necessarily represents how I write today. But hey, maybe some seventeen year old will enjoy it huh.

I also read Memoirs of a Geisha last night for the first time - three hours at a go, and it was wonderful. I can't believe it took me so long to read it, I'm ashamed. I enjoyed it nearly as much as I did The Other Boleyn Girl, which leads me to suspect that I just have a thing for historical novels.. Beyond that I think I read another two books: Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, which was a new level of terrible, and The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson, which was a new sort of book from her. Right now I'm making my way through All the Sad Young Literary Men but getting distracted by the writing to be done. Which reminds me - at the book reading, someone asked: When do you find time to write? And i thought to myself, this isn't a question, because you don't find time to write, you write, and try to find time to live in between the spaces on your pages. It's not really an option either way.

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Published on April 13, 2015 08:23

The Written Kitten

Jemimah James Wei
Purely for literature/books/writing.

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