On Reading Abroad

Since the end of June, I have been to Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. At the moment, I’m writing to you from Bangkok, Thailand. It certainly has been quite a journey — by turns ecstatic, overwhelming, hilarious and challenging — to say the least.

I’ve written a bit about my adventures for Ebony and will continue to do so as I go along, but I just wanted to take a moment and note all of the wonderful books I’ve been reading along the way. Earlier this year, I was able to see Toni Morrison read from Home. During the Q & A that followed, she remarked that “words are [her] home.” As readers and writers, I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

I certainly do and have found that reading novels while traveling has allowed me to create maintain a sense of familiarity while surrounded with the unfamiliar. In any case, here’s what I’ve been reading:

My Dear Friends in America by Daisaku Ikeda

Big Machine by Victor LaValle

Pym by Mat Johnson

Black Cool edited by Rebecca Walker

Erasure by Percival Everett

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Beautiful Tiny Things by Cheryl Strayed

The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle


One response to “On Reading Abroad

  1. Loved this. I’ve lived abroad since 2000 and reading, in English, has kept me connected to an imaginary community called home all these years. When I think of the beginning, of the first lonely years, I connect each moment to an author.

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