Connections Across Literature–A Balm In (Literal) Isolation

Amidst everything happening in the world, I’ve been finding respite more and more within the pages of what I’m reading. I’m also grateful that I’ve had virtual book festivals and book clubs and author events which in many ways have nurtured these connections and reminded me that even when I read alone my thoughts are very much in conversation with a broader dialogue. Whether it is thematic connections across texts, or prose that sings and reminds me of similar magic in the way other authors pen their works, these connections have brought me immense joy. Truly.

I’ve found the way I’m drawn to talk about books shift too, reading less in a silo of thought and more as if I’m holding a flickering light in a room dancing with shadows. I wanted to share some of my thought paths below (conscious they often swirl in my mind like the narrative voice in Ducks, Newburyport!)

Jumping right into those connections…

The way the language of art communicates emotion and the complexities of life in Raven Leilani’s Luster makes me think of the way cooking and food become communicative of love and connection in Bryan Washington’s forthcoming debut novel, Memorial.

Or the way Tara June Winch in her debut, Swallow the Air, strings together beautifully complex sentences threading words together that build these images in stunning and unexpected phrasings–and seeing other readers bring me back to the way Leilani deftly uses this in her prose too.

Or the way Zaina Arafat’s You Exist Too Much felt like a direct conversation with the themes of female identity and sexuality and desire as written in Sarah Blake’s Naamah.

I’m curious if other readers have seen changes in the ways they consume and contextualize literature and stories?

Disclaimer some affiliate links used, and some titles mentioned have been provided for review purposes.

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