“They all kinds of crazy. Some folk drink theyselves to stupid. Others so empty, gluttony take they belly hostage. And some get so full up with hate, it like to crack they soul. Hell, ain’t nothing strange when Colored go crazy. Strange is when we don’t.”
Cynthia Bond’s “Ruby” is a brutally difficult novel to read. The misogyny is venomous, deadly. Women in general, and the title character in particular, are savagely used and abused in a way that made me wince and gasp. This barbaric cruelty was deeply ingrained in the ethos of the small Texas town in which it is set, with ties both subtle and overt to religious teachings. At the center of the story is a preacher (who is more demon than human), who at one point in his early sermons openly lays his community’s plight on the shoulders of womankind.
“Otha watched her husband’s eyes go black…
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When Meursault learns of his mother’s death in Albert Camus’ The Stranger, he is apathetic to say the least. It is this strange detachment from emotion Camus explores in his existential search of meaning and existence. Fifty-four years later Jamaica Kincaid’s Xuela is also confronted with the loss of her mother and regards it with Mersault’s similar apathetic detachment as she states:
“My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole life there was nothing standing between myself and eternity; at my back was always a bleak, black wind”
but unlike Meursault, Xuela does not get to attend her mother’s funeral as she is but a newborn when her mother dies. Much like Camus’ interrogation of the existential question of existence, Kincaid explores the affects of a severed bond between mother and child in a theme that stretches far beyond Xuela’s personal story.
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Brooke Warner, Publisher at She Writes Press, a hybrid publishing company that blends the best of self-publishing and traditional publishing for women writers, shared these 52 ideas for writers. This is, by far, the greatest list of ideas that I’ve seen. Check out the list below: