Reading Recommendations from our October D.C. Readers

Read the books that our October D.C. readers (Sandra Beasley, Tafisha A. Edwards, Lisa Page, Kish Rusek, & Mejdulene B. Shomali) are inspired by right now.


An American Sunrise: Poems

by Joy Harjo
Recommended by Sandra Beasley

Why Sandra loves it:

“This is the latest collection from Harjo, our new Poet Laureate of the United States. As an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Tribe, Harjo's work is in open dialogue with the dark legacies of American history and colonialism--yet ultimately, in search of beauty, resilience, and "bridges of understanding" (from the Washington Post review). We could all use bridges of understanding in these difficult days.”

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You must be friends with silence to hear.
The songs of the guardians of silence are the most powerful —-
They are the most rare.
— Joy Harjo, "Singing Everything," from An American Sunrise

The Book of Night Women

by Marlon James
Recommended by Tafisha A. Edwards

Why Tafisha loves it:

The novel's protagonist, Lilith, an enslaved Jamaican woman, gains full understanding of the brutality of her life as a slave, regardless of her beauty. She matures into a woman who wields her hard fought agency as much as she can, regardless of its limits. Lilith is important to me because her loss of innocence is the beginning of her own journey to a complicated self-actualization.”

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We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America

Edited by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page
Recommended by Lisa Page

Why Lisa recommends it:

I co-edited this collection of essays where racial passing is joined with gender, religious and socioeconomic passing contemporary stories.”

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The Death of Ivan Ilyich

by Leo Tolstoy
Recommended by Kish Rusek

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Invasive Species

by Marwa Helal
Recommended by Mejdulene B. Shomali

Why Mejdulene loves it:

“It uses poetry to reclaim colonial languages and remake them in the author's image.”

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Meet these women and hear their own stories.

Join us on October 10, 2019 7pm-9pm at Loyalty Books in D.C. for an inspiring reading event that raises essential funds for Al Otro Lado. These 5 women read stories, poems, and personal essays about a time they faltered.