We Love You, Charlie Freeman

“I’ve lived long enough to know that faith and trust in the kindness of others is a hard-won oblivion, is a very strong armor. It may hurt, in the short run, to have an open, trusting heart. It may mean, in the short run, that you are weak. But in the long run it can mean survival.”

We Love You, Charlie Freeman, pp. 239-40
By Kaitlyn Greenidge
Published 2016 by Algonquin Books

Note: Election Results

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes.” –Emily Dickinson
 
It has been one week since the United States made the irrevocable decision to bestow its most sacred title to the most profane and undeserving man. To envision the President-elect in the White House is nothing short of sacrilege, and I suspect that the betrayal will feel raw and fresh every day that he remains there.
 
If there is room for hope, I hope that democracy considers this an opportunity to prove its resilience; I hope that the country proves that it can bend and fold in unprecedented ways, only to straighten itself up, weathered but stronger and more refined; I hope that progress proves inevitable.
 
As events continue to painfully unfold, let us remain on the right side of history. Let us learn, collect and connect ideas, and act accordingly. With renewed enthusiasm, Bookswept will continue to share the wide range of perspectives that are born of literature. It may become harder than ever to extract truth from our leaders and institutions. The opposite can be said of our books. Let us put them to good use.
 

The Vegetarian

“‘I used to be dark’: There were times when he wanted to express it this way. I used to be dark. The monochrome world, entirely devoid of the colors he was now experiencing, had had a calmness that was beautiful in its way, but it wasn’t somewhere he could go back to. It seemed the happiness that had enabled him to feel that quiet peace was now lost to him forever. And yet he found himself unable to think of this as a loss. All of his energy was taken up in trying to cope with the excitement, the heightened awareness of living in the present moment.”

The Vegetarian, p. 107
By Han Kang
Published 2016 by Hogarth