Friday, January 30, 2015

Raison d’Être

Literature is the ax that breaks the frozen sea within us.
                     ~Franz Kaftka

The dream is that your language will make a difference… that what you believe in will move out from you like a tsunami, that the wave of your story will move out through the world and people will ripple.
                     ~ Dorothy Allison

Literature broadens our humanity.  It submerges us into the world and experience of people who are like us and people who are completely different from us.  It promotes empathy and critical thinking. If nothing else, it helps us build stronger language and vocabulary.

I believe literature can even save lives.  At least, it has saved my life.  Without books and writing, without words, I wouldn’t be here.  Below is a list of some of the books (in no particular order) that kept me writing and breathing:

  • The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Soldier: A Poet's Childhood by June Jordan
  • Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde
  • Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Somé
  • Body Toxic by Susanne Antonetta
  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Dìaz
  • The Famished Road by Ben Okri
  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy