This month’s Reading Round Up offers a collection of some of the best articles I read last month, covering topics including Barry Jenkins, ALA, and Tsupu . Plus a list of my own written work. Get those tabs ready!
Short fiction: Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction: May 2021
Book review: “Local Star” by Aimee Ogden
Book review: “Depart, Depart!” by Sim Kern
Book review: “The Future God of Love” by Dilman Dila
Book review: “The Fourth Island” by Sarah Tolmie
Book review: “After the Dragons” by Cynthia Zhang
“Barry Jenkins Felt His Way Through The Underground Railroad” by Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture: “Rather than a straightforward, literal-minded transcription of the book, Jenkins and his collaborators worked intuitively all through the production, creating a historical dream and nightmare. They made bold decisions on the fly, drawing on scripture, myths, legends, paintings, and their own instincts about how to visualize the emotional interiors of the main characters. Recently, Jenkins and I parsed those decisions over the course of two separate wide-ranging discussions, considering the advantages and limitations of longform storytelling, the use of subjective filmmaking techniques to get into characters’ heads, the interplay of image, sound, and music, and the pleasures and dangers of letting your unconscious guide you.”
“Goodbye, ALA” by April Hathcock: “Don’t get me wrong, I respect those who have been and continue to fight to make the organization a better space. I honor their belief that meaningful change is possible. I just don’t see it ever happening.”
“The Last Woman From Petaluma” by Greg Sarris for KCET: “Her Indian name, or at least one of her Indian names, the only one any of us know, was Tsupu. She was my great-great-grandfather’s mother, or my great-great-great grandmother, and, again as far as any of us know, the last native of Petaluma, not the city we know today, but the ancient Coast Miwok village of the same name.”
“The Onion’s Guide To Critical Race Theory” for The Onion: “Q: Should critical race theory be taught in our schools?
A: Not unless we’re aiming for fewer white supremacists.
Q: Won’t teaching it just make other kids hate my white children?
A: Your kids are already insufferable and widely despised.”
“Cruella Is the Girl-Bossification of the Madwoman” by Angelica Jade Bastién for Vulture: “That Cruella is an atrocity with neither purpose nor soul shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is, after all, another in a long line of IP mining nostalgia and better works of the past that Disney is more than happy to keep churning out. Hollywood is an industry too myopic to understand its past and too inert to move into a more artistically dynamic future. But it’s the way this tepid film operates that makes it galling.”