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Reading Corner: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

It has been a while since a book swallowed me up whole. House of Hollow did just that, opening wide into a dark, sweetly perfumed world of rot, decay, and sharp beauty. Krystal Sutherland’s novel tells the story of three sisters, each angular and devastatingly enchanting, with crescent silver scars stitched into their necks, black eyes, and strange white hair. However, they weren’t always that … Continue reading Reading Corner: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Discovering New Books in 2021

2021 was a difficult year for everyone, as it carried the weight of lockdown. I was extremely lucky to be able to spend the time at home with my family, a great opportunity considering that we haven’t all lived in the same house for years. Since I didn’t have to physically go to class, I had more time for myself and started getting back into … Continue reading Discovering New Books in 2021

Reading Corner: Milkweed

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli is a difficult book to describe to someone who has never read it. Perhaps “haunting” is the most appropriate adjective. This book follows the life of a young boy known as Misha, orphaned and living on the streets of Warsaw, Poland when World War II strikes. The story is told from Misha’s perspective, which is one of extraordinary innocence due to … Continue reading Reading Corner: Milkweed

Reading Corner: The Chronicles of Narnia – A Children’s Classic to Help Me Through Adulthood

“Isn’t that a children’s book?” If you see a young woman in a café, sipping a latte with her nose in a book, a children’s story may seem an unlikely choice of reading material. And yet, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. The classic The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis is a seven-book series, telling tales of the magical land of Narnia and … Continue reading Reading Corner: The Chronicles of Narnia – A Children’s Classic to Help Me Through Adulthood

Roomania

After the success of her first two novels, Sally Rooney published her latest novel Beautiful World, where are you, to critical acclaim. RAZZ writer Elinor Wallis discusses how and why Rooney has become so popular in recent years. Wallis suggest how Rooney is able to standout from the rest while noting how accurately she is able to capture the zeitgeists of young people growing up in an ever changing world? Continue reading Roomania

Reading Corner: Read-A-Thons

I was stuck in a reading slump lately. Even though exams are long gone, I still want to finish the books that I started during university and never got around to finishing. I was excited to get them over and start with something fresh, but somehow it always takes too long to finish them, and I lose motivation in the process. In one of Ruby Granger’s latest videos, she offered me the solution: dedicating a day to a read-a-thon to re-gain perspective on the beauty of reading. Continue reading Reading Corner: Read-A-Thons

Celebrating Writers of Colour in 2021: An Updated Reading List

On the 25th of May 2020 the tragic death of George Floyd shook the globe and sparked a monumental level of anti-racist protests and social media movements. With weeks of lockdown looming many turned to literature not only to educate themselves on the life-altering effects of racism but also to learn about the lived experiences of people of colour. With the anniversary of George Floyd’s death now gone, it is important to turn our attention to the tidal wave of fantastic books released by BIPOC writers since 2020. Whether you’re reading for self-education or pleasure, these new and upcoming releases are unmissable. Continue reading Celebrating Writers of Colour in 2021: An Updated Reading List

From The Well of Loneliness to Exciting Times: LGBTQ+ Narratives, Ninety Years Apart

with uproar, leading to the book being banned under the Obscene Publications Act . This was because Hall had chosen to write from the perspective of a lesbian protagonist, Stephen. Stephen is assigned female at birth but given a traditionally masculine name due to their parents’ desire for a male child; this begins a life of identity conflict. The depiction of Stephen’s complicated relationship with their sexuality and gender speaks to Hall’s lived experience with gender dysphoria. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that Hall believed that they were “a man trapped in a woman’s body”. Like the young Stephen, who likes to be called Nelson, Hall adopted a male pseudonym to write under, Radclyffe. A portrait of Hall painted in 1918bears a striking resemblance to Stephen in their later years, which suggests that what makes The Well of Loneliness so heartrending is that the emotional anguish comes from the heart of the author. Hall’s experience as someone who did not identify as the gender assigned to them at birth, is such an important narrative to read and understand – and to have been writing this story as early as 1928 marks out Hall as a revolutionary. Continue reading From The Well of Loneliness to Exciting Times: LGBTQ+ Narratives, Ninety Years Apart

Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

This year, I have been thinking a great deal about the role of the arts and humanities in the fight against climate change. While I have heard anecdotes about interdisciplinary projects that aim to tackle the ongoing environmental crisis from a range of different scholarly perspectives, it is troubling that the input of the humanities scholars is often reportedly neglected in favour of the data produced by the scientists and geographers. Undoubtedly, there is a sound rationale behind such a decision: we need data to assess the extent of the problem, and to develop practical recommendations for change. However, I strongly believe that the arts and humanities have serious untapped potential for helping to divert our course away from environmental catastrophe. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Cli-Fi, a Genre to Save Us All?

Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf

Feminist literature is a category that takes up a huge amount of space on my bookcase. It is one of my primary interests when reading for pleasure or when picking modules within my degree. Considering the importance of intersectional feminism and inclusivity in what we read and how we educate ourselves, it is extremely important to diversify our bookshelves. As there are simply too many amazing Black feminist writers to mention in this article, including Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Claudia Rankine and Warsan Shire to name a few, I have instead decided to list three of my favourite Black feminist writers to get you started. The first being one of my favourite authors who I believe to be a fantastic starting point in your reading, the second is a recent read that I loved, and the final recommendation is the next book that I am planning on reading that I have heard amazing things about. Continue reading Black Feminist Books That Should be on Your Bookshelf