A literary tribute inspired by the tragedy in Orlando. A guest post by Librarian Amy Sonnie.
Literary tradition is strong in the queer community. Storytelling is how LGBTQI people have named and defined existence, named and transcended fear, named and chosen family. Through poetry, music and memoir, LGBTQI communities keep constant vigil. Nowhere is that tradition more present than in queer and transgender communities of color. “All of us loved you / we want you to know this / listen,” wrote Tatiana de la Tierra.
In honor of Pride month and the 49 lives lost in Orlando, Oakland Library celebrates Latinx authors, artists and activists. Let us listen to their stories and hold the hard truth that we cannot truly know the names and stories of Orlando’s lost generation; they did not get the chance to name themselves.
But we can show up for the living: All of us love you. We want you to know this. We are listening.
que te queremos then and now
hear it in Nahuatl en Español en Pocho en Inglés
hear it en la canción del viento
en el silencio
A new book by Louise Erdrich is a great reason to get reading.
Last month brought us the release of LaRose, a new novel by Louise Erdrich and the fifteenth title in her North Dakota cycle of novels. This latest novel tells the story of a couple who give their son to a neighbor family to atone for a tragic accident.
Each of the North Dakota novels stands alone, so readers new to her work don’t have to go back to the start of the cycle to enjoy LaRose. But readers who have followed the North Dakota novels, beginning with Love Medicine, relish the layers of interconnection among the books, between the Native American, European, and mixed families, and
OPL has LGBTQI books for all interests.
June is LGBTQI Book Month and OPL has many new fiction titles for you to check out. Set in locations throughout the world, these books feature characters in various stages of life. From coming out stories to the expatriate experience, the novels listed below represent a range of LGBTQI experiences in Beijing, Nigeria, New Delhi, London, Appalachia, Hawaii, and beyond.
The Oakland Book Festival will inspire you to read, and we've got the books ready for you!
The second annual Oakland Book Festival will take place this coming Sunday, May 22 at Oakland City Hall. Jam packed with books, ideas and lively debates, this free festival will host more than sixty authors and journalists. For more information on the discussion panel line-ups, descriptions, times and locations, look here. Make sure to stop by the Oakland Public Library booths and say hi!
No doubt this festival will inspire some major reading! Here’s a selection of just some of the books by participating authors you can borrow from us.
Short story collections.
I haven't had much time for reading lately so I've been checking out short stories by my favorite authors. Short stories are a good way to satisfy my reading needs without committing to a lengthy novel. They're also fun to read aloud in book clubs or to share with a loved one before going to sleep. And May is short story month so what better time to pick up a short story collection. I've listed some of my favorites below.
Local author recommends her favorite “activist fiction.”
Oakland resident Barbara Rhine is a lawyer, activist and writer whose work has appeared in The SF Chronicle, Oakland Tribune and Counterpunch. Her vast personal history as an activist reaches back to her college years and has included participation in Martin Luther King’s demonstrations in Skokie, an attempt to travel to Cuba with a National Lawyers Guild delegation that ended in imprisonment and deportation from Mexico, and service as staff attorney with the United Farmworkers Union during the largest agricultural strike in California history.
So it comes as no surprise that the theme of social justice looms large in her 2014 novel Tell
Sixteen transforming tales.
One of the fun things about being a librarian is getting juicy readers advisory questions, so when Rockridge librarian Emily Weak was asked by a young woman, "What fiction have you read that changed your life?” she instantly sprang into action, sending the query around the library system. We nerded out about it for a while, giving it all the weight deserved by a question regarding the transformation of one’s very life. Emily compiled a list of nearly 100 titles. That ought to prepare our young friend for the rest of her life, no? Here is a mere sampling, with a focus on less current titles:
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
A rich epic