maandag 15 juni 2009

books I lived in

This second blog is about a book from an American writer. The booktitle is *Freshwater road", the author's name Denise Nicholas. The novel is based on experiences from the time Denise was still young.
It is 1964. Celeste, a nineteen year old black North-American student, decides to travel to Missisippi to join the Freedom Movement there. Her reasons are various: from personal circumstances to idealistic. When she gets involved in the organization in Pineyville sle learns about the difference between the North and the South. She encounters the reasons of of being non-violent in a violent atmosphere. But she also meets violence where she least expected it, and found out that black or white are not necessarrily what she thought it would be. Issues like race, class and gender are placed in a time that may seem longtime ago... But is it really?
What struck me was the fact that such a young girl made that big a choice, to leave safety behind for some unknown adventure. It was very recognizable, next to the fact that idealistic ideas may come from very personal reasons. I also related to the fact that she felt like an outsider at many places, wether it was home or far away from there. It becomes very clear that life is about choices. And tho we may not always make the right ones, all can be used as life's lessons... An honest, sometimes shocking, and yet warm an compelling book that also gives an insight in the world's history.

dinsdag 9 juni 2009

08 juni

books I lived in...

Who spends time reading nowadays? Life is way too busy to lose time in such a silly passtime. We have our work, all the hobbyclubs we attend, the computer, we need to watch the news on tv and oh yes, visit family and friends. So who spends time reading nowadays? Well, I do... Books meant alot to me. They did all of my life, from childhood on. I would like to use this website for two things:
1. a weekly book review of one of the books that. for me, left shades of memories
2. a weekly review from others, that join me on this website
I will do it for a month, and see how it goes. Hopefully continue after.
First book is written by someone, born in Burkina Faso, West-Africa. He studied in France and later left to live in the U.S.
*Patrice Maildoma Somé, Of water and the fire
The book describes the childhood of the writer. As a young kid, he originally grew up in a small village, surrounded by his family. At the age of 10 he is sent to the missionart school. He lives there as well, since it is too far away from his home to travel there daily. At first he adapts to the rules, however after a while he becomes a very rebellious teenager. He not only disagrees with the rules, but also shows it very clearly in his behaviour. It all ends up by leaving missionaryschool and go back home. That is some culture shock. He gets re-adapted by the small village again, and has to do the initiation rituals that are common for much younger boys in the community, to become part of the community again. A few things really impressed me in the book. One was the honest, sincere way in which the writer considers his own feelings and thoughts. He doesn't look away from unpleasant experiences or behaviour, but takes a look in the mirror to see who he really is. Good and bad sides alltogether. Another thing was, that he gives an inside view, even while sometimes just a glimpse, into the hidden old habits of the culture he originates from. The magic of West-Africa, without romantizing, by someone who comes from inside. It is not that often, that someone describes his own youth in Africa, that took part in a vartiety of cultures. The book reminded me a bit of the first African film that I saw lightyears ago, when it had just been released, called Yeelen. But that is another story, and another weblog perhaps. This is about books right?