Love is tactile learning, always, first and foremost.
Back in February I intended to write about how the Slate Audio Book Club basically went on a hiatus. The podcast was hosted by Katy Waldman, and she moved from Slate to The New Yorker. I think they didn’t find anyone else who wanted to do it. If I’m honest I’ll say that I really didn’t like Katy Waldman’s tone, I found it boring most of the time, but I agreed with her almost always, and I admired her clarity and her evident passion for books and literature. Also, Slate’s ABC Podcast was very important for me, during my reading recovery, so when she said she was gone and then there were just two other episodes before they stating officially that the book club would be on a hiatus, I was crushed.
Fortunately, almost synchronically I found out about another book club. I’ve been following Guerrilla Feminism account on Instagram for years. I love how Lachrista Greco just says it as it is. No bullshit. And I love how many things she’s made me learn, especially about my own privilege. She started a feminist book club in her Patreon, and when I found out about it I wanted in. Unfortunately the first book they read was Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge, and there was absolutely no way for me to get it at a reasonable price in time to read it. Amazon Mexico didn’t have it, it always said “out of stock”, Amazon.com charged me half the price of the book just for shipping, Book Depository has always taken +6 weeks to get me books, Gandhi almost doubled the price for “importing fees”… So I decided to wait until the next book.
And it was Heart Berries, by Terese Marie Mailhot. It’s such an amazing little book. I feel bad for using positive adjectives, because reading it was a harrowing experience, but I loved it. Mailhot is a writer from an indian reservation and in Heart Berries she wrote a coming of age memoir with such lyricism and imagery… Of course the book deals with “white women”, but not in a way to “make them realize”, I actually don’t think it’s written for white people. But it’s painful to think on all that discrimination, that is the same that indigenous people live in Mexico. Systemic, bureaucratic, permanent. Even if we don’t want to face it.
The book is incredibly sad, incredibly lonely. But in the sadness and loneliness it founds beauty, an excruciating beauty.
What I must say, though, is that as much as I marked passages and underlined sentences, I also kept looking how many pages were left until the end of the chapter. I’m not sure if it was because it talked about things hard to read (death, suicidal thoughts, rape, infidelity…) or just the language was heavy. In the GF discussion I compared it to honey, so dense and even painfully slow moving, but delicious. But it definitely isn’t a sweet book. I wish I had a better analogy.
Self-esteem is a white invention to further separate one person from another. It asks people to assess their value and implies people have worth. It seems like identity capitalism.