I‘ve read everything that Ta-Nehisi Coates has published. I know him to be a gifted essayist and writer of non-fiction but now fiction ... I want many more.
Hiram has the power of conduction, passed down to him from generations of water dancers. We meet the malicious Quality, the corrupt Low Whites, and come to grieve with, and celebrate those born to the Task. Coates tells us of an Underground, as magnificent and flawed as those who create it
This is book is so beautifully written, it hooked me immediately. The protagonist, Hiram, is born a slave in Virginia with an incredible photographic memory who, as an adult, participates in assisting with the Underground Railroad. I simultaneously wanted more events out of the story because it‘s such a complicated historical event, but also think it‘s worth a re-read because I found some parts quite dense.
November 2019 reading wrap-up:
The Water Dancer: Ta-Nehis Coates 5 🌟🎧
Heavy:Kiese Laymon 📖
The Less People Know About Us: Axton Betz-Hamilton 3 🌟📖
I Am I Am I Am : Maggie O‘Farrell 5 🌟🎧
The Fire Next TIme: James Baldwin 🎧
Happiness: Aminatta Forna 3.5 🌟📖
Galore: Michael Crummy 3.5 🌟🎧
Men We Reaped: Jesymyn Ward 3.5 🌟🎧
The Name Of The Wind: Patrick Rothfuss 2.5 🌟📖🎧
#bookreport #NFNov ##nonfictionnovember
What I appreciated: while the physical brutality of slavery is noted, it‘s the emotional brutality that Coates focuses on. The devastation of having your spouse and children sold, the riches acquired through the work and sale of you and your loved ones. The book had a bit more magical realism to it than I expected but it works. I have also realized that I have an elementary knowledge of Harriet Tubman and want to research her in greater depth.
I was looking for pictures of water for this post. Came across a photo of two of my grandkids, cousins, this summer. Well they‘re close to water! 😀 But very far removed from the reality of this book I‘m reading. Holy Toledo. When I‘m not reading I‘m thinking about the characters and just want to get back to it. Coates has me completely wrapped up in the story.
Sad & difficult to hear, as any tale of slavery must be, this is also a tale of triumph. Elements of magic realism help lift it to higher level. I found the #audiobook slow to get into, but Joe Morton‘s narration carried me until I was completely immersed. The story is like a cross between Edward P Jones‘ The Known World and Colson Whitehead‘s Underground Railroad.
Twelve napkins dyed indigo yesterday while listening to the tagged audiobook.
Spent today #audiodyeing with a vat of indigo. More photos tomorrow.
Great options for Book of the Month this month! The Coates was a no brainer for me and I couldn‘t resist adding just one more. What did all you other #botm clubbers choose?!
Cool new book covers for this month! https://lithub.com/the-11-best-book-covers-of-september/
A challenging book but well worth the effort. One of the best this year. Review at https://itsallaboutthebook.org/2019/09/19/water-dancer-by-ta-nehisi-coates/