Review: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (Akashic: New York 2017)

Reviewed by Tracy Vasquez

Rivers Solomon’s science-fiction novel An Unkindness of Ghosts is masked in a pain.  The point of writing on the pain of others is to expose the reader to a point of view; in this instance, Solomon writes from the perspective of Aster, who identifies as gender fluid. Aster is searching for a consistent path in the uncertainty of the cosmos.  “She craved clarity, transparency and answers.” (169)  She longs for answers from her mother, who died when she was a baby; yet, a mapping of sorts leads her on a path set by her mother.  Cutting out the contrivances, we see Aster through her history of loss and survival on the vessel Matilda.

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Review: A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum (HarperCollins 2019)

Reviewed by Angela Gualtieri

A book’s purpose is to inform, whether it paints a view of a fantastical world or provides a reflection of everyday life. Sometimes, these purposes indulge our curiosities naturally and slowly. Other times, the author forces our eyes wide open to take in harsh truths we weren’t prepared to face. Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman Is No Man, displays the traditions, culture, and societal expectations of Arab families, but also shows the painful reality for its woman.

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