Book's fallin' from the cloud vol.2
So, what kind of book should I choose for my Kindle reading? I thought
about it and chose a novel. Comedy, essay, romance, homicide, fiction,
non-fiction ... a variety of genres. OK. I'll go with all of them.
However, maybe coincidentally, three of twelve books I've read this year were autobiographical novels by immigrant authors.
At first "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" by Dinaw Mengestu.
A bitter sweet story of Ethiopian immigrant in Washington D.C. community.
Secondly, Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner". The memoir of
the protagonist's childhood in Afghanistan, and confession as a sense of
sin to his old friend long after he moved to America. And finally, a story
of Haitian family who immigrated to America thorough the severe conflict
in their mother land "Brother, I'm Dying" by Edwidge Danticat.
These books have a story line in common. All of them are describing protagonist's
uneasy life in America. But they toughly survive. In contrast, the last
two titles describe their family member's hard time to immigrate to the
So you might say it has a pattern. But as reading these tree immigrant's
story, you'll find the theme and the way of description is totally deferent
each other. For example, "The Beautiful Things ... " is written
about prejudice and community. "The Kite Runner"'s theme is sin
and atonement. And the family ties and US immigration policy is written
in "Brother, I'm Dying"
The most favorite to me is "Brother, I'm Dying", which describe
the history and family ties. Because it's not only describing civil war
in Haiti, but also telling about a shadow of US immigration policy.
There is another reason this story is impressive to me. In early 90's,
I was in New York. And demonstration used be held almost every week. It
settled everywhere in NYC, from the Broad Way to the Central Park. Especially,
I often came across a demonstration for Haiti. I was too young to make
sense what's going on in Port au Prince, the capital city of Haiti, and
what they claimed for. But now, as reading the book, I know it. My experience
and the novel is finally synchronized.
By the way, I'm surprised for the numbers of quality authors in US. I suppose
the US has huge population of immigrants who have dramatic experience.
Therefore the books written by such authors have a huge difference to a
textbook-like book by a critic who's far away from the conflict.
Not only for the dramatic autobiographies, American novel has often show
the toughness of reality to me. After facing to the severe reality of daily
life, once again I'm knocked over by the tough story with reading book.
Then I gloom. However I look back the story after finish the book. I noticed
that's a nice story. It's funny.
Japanese people always want direct advise and follow it. So top seller
is dominated by a self-help or practical book. Meanwhile, when I read American
novel, I have to find tips for my life from the lines. Well, it takes up
a lot. But it'll keep in mind for long time, and it must be applicable.
Through that, I'm looking forward to the book I'm gonna meet next. Then
I click the "Buy Now" icon. Boy! Astonishing Kindle ....
" Sunday meeting for Haiti " NYC, New York, USA 1992