My thoughts on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay ‘Notes on Grief’
(HOW ‘NOTES ON GRIEF’ MADE ME FACE MY GREATEST FEAR first published on Medium publication Coffee Time Reviews. You can read the full review here)
What is mourning, and what is grief?
The loss of a loved one is perhaps something no one will be fully able to perfectly transcribe into words. If the one who is left behind feels bereft, how can some other such person’s words provide solace? Or can it?
Grief is multifaceted, just as much as mourning is. We all mourn differently. I for one have a bad bad habit of repressing my memories. I know of a friend who became cruel to well-wishers who went to offer condolences. There’s a distant relative who laughed and laughed when they got the news. There’s an ancestor who went mute.
And can there be grace in someone’s denial of the loss of a loved one?
My thoughts on ‘Notes on Grief’
I recently read Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an essay written in the aftermath of the death of her father. Aftermath. That is a heavy word indeed. As though all the ravage that is left behind after someone passes away is grave and vicious. And indeed, isn’t that’s what’s left behind? It eats away at the soul and makes the pain a physical entity. How do you suddenly start talking about someone in the past tense? How do you write ‘was’ from what was once ‘is’?
Attempting to write a ‘review’ feels like an insult to this loss. I couldn’t really dare. So I tried to write down what it made me feel and think - in as much as I was able to. Loss is never really definable. So how could I go ahead and try to pick apart the words and critique this beautiful but raw and powerful homage to a loving father by a bereft daughter?
Disclaimer: I received this review copy from the publishers @harpercollinsin . All thoughts and views expressed are my own and in no way influenced by external factors.
Nonfiction November is here and I have got some amazing nonfiction recommendations for you all! I hope you all have a blast reading these books!
Reading nonfiction is hard!
I feel like 2019 has gone by so fast. November is here; half of it is already gone and it is only now that I am making the #nonfictionnovember recommendations post! I know from personal experience that reading this genre can be quite intimidating for some of us. But for those of you who read non-fiction very often, I applaud you!
How to ease into this genre
Since easing into this genre may take some getting used to for many of us, I decided to compile a list of some non-fiction reads, which do not really read as such. So without further ado, here are some books I have read and some that are on my radar!
Embroidered Life: The Art of Sarah K. Benning – a splendidly created coffee table book, Embroidered Life follows the work process of Benning. Benning is a self-taught embroidery artist nad this book is a wonderful book to leaf through. If you are looking for something creative to pick up to while the harsh winter months away, this might just be the book for you. I for one, am currently working on an embroidery project of my own, which I hope to complete and show you all soon! (Goodreads)
Lost Transmissions: Science Fiction and Fantasy’s Untold, Underground and Forgotten History – a book which I am absolutely thrilled to pick this month is this insightful behemoth. It is rightly regarded as the bible of science fiction and fantasy’s most interesting and least-known chapters. I have very high hopes for this mixture of essays, interviews, and stunning visuals! (Goodreads)
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body – Roxane Gay’s searingly honest memoir of food, weight, and self-image has been described as being intimate, vulnerable, and bracingly candour. Having read excerpts of Bad Feminist, I am pretty excited to see how this much-acclaimed memoir will be for me. (Goodreads)
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft. I decided that no matter what I write could trump this brilliant description of the King’s book. I have yet to read any of his books so I think I will change that situation by picking up this one. (Goodreads)
I’m Not Here to Give a Speech – Garcia Marquez is already a much well-acclaimed author. And I think it is an ironically named book! This is his collection of speeches span from his high school days to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize. If you have not yet read any of Marquez’s words, perhaps this could be great for you to start with. (Goodreads)
City of my Heart – a 4 star read for me, this book is a translation of four texts that talk about Dilli (or Delhi, as it is now known), following the downfall and the fate of royalty following the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, with the capture of Bahadur Shah Zafar. (Goodreads)
I am Malala and We Are Displaced – Malala is the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the fact that I have yet to read her books, meant I just had to get to them this month. Both of these two books are a conglomerate of the global issues of terrorism, the utter destruction it causes to the innocents of lives all around, immigration crisis, etc. It also speaks of the displacement issue that crops up with it, war, the refugee situation, border conflict, etc.
Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More and Live Bolder – a 5 star read that I’d recommend to all! It was a fundamental and impactful read that I loved. It talks about the unexplainable need for perfectionism (which is prevalent in all of us), albeit a bit more obsessively in girls. Please pick up this book! It would be a shame if we fail to read it and realize the way most of us limit ourselves. (Goodreads)
Feminist Rani – Can I brag that I have already met the author and got this signed? Shamefully, I haven’t read it yet! Perhaps there is no better time than this November! It shares the stories of 15 women – women who have strived to fight for their own rights to stand as equals to men. They talk of issues such as identity, the need for the realization of selfhood, etc. (Goodreads)