Guestblog: The End of Eddy

Édouard Louis – The End of Eddy by Nynke Anna van der Mark The parameters of life in a small working-class town in Northern France in the 1990’s are narrow. Social life is centred around a few landmarks: the factory in which virtually all men in town work, the schoolyard where the women gossip, the…

The Good Muslim

I bought the novel The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam without realizing that it was a part of the Bengal Trilogy and this was part two. Actually, I did not even realize this while I was reading it and only found out when I was already finished with the book. The story told in this…

Ya bahiyyat al-masakin: Mornings in Jenin

Do you know, Mother, that Haj Salem was buried alive in his home? Does he tell you stories in heaven now? I wish I had had a chance to meet him. To see his toothless grin and touch his leathery skin. To beg him, as you did in your youth, for a story from our…

The Power

Naomi Alderman’s book The Power is very popular and features Margaret Atwood’s review on the cover, which describes it as “Electrifying”. This made it very promising but I always remain skeptical when a book is appreciated by the audience at large. However, Atwood’s opinion matters to me (I wrote my MA thesis on The Handmaid’s Tale) so…

Letters to a Young Muslim

How do you juggle two identities? How do you combine East and West? Do you dare ask what they have in common? Letters to a Young Muslim immediately caught my eye in the local bookstore. Its cover is a bright blue with intricate patterns of silver and gold and I couldn’t help but pick it up….

Take me home yaqay

Yaqay – Somali word used to emphasize emotion/urgency in speech. Such a beautiful word that describes how I felt reading through the chapbook of Warsan Shire, called Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. She was born in Kenia, to Somali parents, and lives in London. I am amazed by her poetry, even more so than Rupi Kaur‘s….

Exit West

I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do form a preset opinion on whether I want to read it by reading the back cover. As always, I went into the American Book Centre in Amsterdam just to have a look because I had some time to kill. However, these kinds of ‘looks’…

A Thousand Splendid Suns

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” When I was a fourteen-year-old wide-eyed kid, I hadn’t yet heard of the empowering and bold Jane Eyre. Living everyday life between the confines of my home, high school and the library, I was…

Between the World and Me / The Beautiful Struggle

“And then he was swinging away, channeling a chi ancient as Equiano. The power was passed down from mothers guarding their sons from the lash, and later from the pyre, rope, fat sheriff. My father swung with the power of an army  of slaves in revolt. He swung like he was afraid like the world…

Rupi Kaur’s poetry

My introduction to Rupi Kaur’s work was through her first poetry collection called milk and honey. I had heard several people mention it and had no idea what to expect. I ordered the book because it was on sale, thinking I could give it a chance. Soon, I fell in love with her poetry. First,…