Or, Mum's The Word
It feels very odd to be writing to you so soon after my last
suitcase update entry. You might be pleased to know that it arrived yesterday (battered, therefore setting off the process of seeking compensation - fun!) but that’s a positive note to start on in a way. Unlike the return trip, where I’d dangerously put books in my suitcase, this was full of other sentimental items and I might truly have manifested it as I planned my week.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and, as always, it brought up interesting feelings and commentary. As a person whose mother has been without a mother almost as long as she had one, I’ve been thinking actively about mothers for almost all my life. What it means to have one, to lose one, to have many, to be one. I found myself going back to two Kenyan writers whose work I greatly enjoy - Lutivini Majanja and Wanjeri Gakuru - for the way they have written about mothers and mothering. Read Lutivini's fiction piece How to Mother Yourself here and Wanjeri’s personal essay Damned. Gifts. here for the writing and/ or all the feelings being mothered, or being motherless, can bring up. I also realised I’ve been reading books that feature memorable mothers lately - most recently The Break by Katherena Vermette (narrated by Michaela Washburn) and Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro (translated by Frances Riddle) - which fed into my thoughts on this parental role.
As I mentioned last week, this week marks my return to the land of physical books. That means reading nothing but till the month ends though I’ve decided to allow myself graphic novels and magazines when I’m outside the house (and suddenly, the urge to go swimming or picnicking to have a site for this very thing). This week, I plan to start on Jackie Karuti’s first monograph (a slow read), this year’s re-read of Mariama Bâ’s iconic So Long a Letter (translated to Kiswahili - Barua Ndefu Kama Hii - from the French by Prof. Clement Maganga) and Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton (yes, an art book!) which I’ll be doing as a blended read (audiobook narrated by Tavia Gilbert). Because I have massive FOMO, I’ll be listening to both Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde (narrated by Arit Okpo, Atta Otigba, Eloghosa Osunde, Ifeyinwa Unachukwu, Obongjayar, Sheila Chukwulozie) and Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor (narrated by Christel Mutombo) on Scribd (get 60 days free using Linda Barasa’s link) because waiting to read them on my e-reader as so many conversations swirl around may overwhelm me. I, too, want to take part in the Disc Horse.
I put out another video last week! It was over 10 minutes - maybe I like talking about books at length, idk! (Confession: I watch everything at 2x so here’s your invitation to watch the latest instalment at the same speed). I’m really looking forward to this week’s for the interesting books I read over the weekend and the chance to finally hold up a book like a true (whatever that means) BookTuber.
Please write back and tell me what bookish things you’re looking forward to this week (me: the Pulitzer Prize announcement, as Prizes continue to be a great book discovery mechanism) and the things bringing you joy, bookish or not :)
I hope you have a great week and a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!