Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What I'm Reading

Me reading, 1974

this interview, again, with Claudia Rankine by David Ulin in The Paris Review, Winter 2016:


I think people forget that white people are just people, and that we're all together inside a system that scripts and constructs not just behavior but imagination.


The imagination first, don't you think? The imagination dictates the behavior.


Right. Ours is a structural and institutional problem. It's complicated because of the vast amount of privilege white people are allotted inside the system, but nonetheless we are a society, and if people are walking around feeling fearful based on imagination, an imagination put in place by a white-supremacist understanding of the world, that's a problem for everyone.

If you haven't read Rankine's book Citizen, you should order it right now and read it.


  1. Our public library had a copy that I had to put on hold because others wanted to read it. I recommend it, too. I wonder what you were reading in 1974. I was 24 years old then. Interesting to see which books were published in 1974. Of the writers I remember reading are Annie Dillard, Ursula Le Guin, Robert Pirsig, Studs Terkel, Lewis Thomas, Joseph Heller. In those years, I bought and read many more books than I do now. Now I rarely buy books but am reading more books than I have in years. Free used books come to me, and I put books on hold at the public library. Most recently I have read Citizen, Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life; Sula, by Malka Marom (ordered from Canada); You Don't Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir, by Sherman Alexie; I Am Not Your Negro (transcript for the film) and Parable of the Sower.

  2. Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites, along with most of her other books. The recent photos of the fires in Southern CA reminded me of that book.

    1. So much that happened in that book has happened this year. Happening as I was reading the book. The fires on the West Coast.

  3. Wow, I might need to read Parable of the Sower again!

    And Elizabeth, Citizen sounds like a must read. I'm off to order it.



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