Anna von Rath

social justice and diversity trainer, and editor of poco. lit.

Ocean Vuong
On Earth we’re briefly gorgeous

“On Earth we’re briefly gorgeous” is a dramatic coming-of-age story interlaced with family trauma, and a letter to the mother of the now-adult narrator. This highly poetic book conveys a nuanced and exceedingly ambivalent understanding of violence.

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Alicia Garza
The Purpose of Power: How we come together when we fall apart

Alicia Garza is co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter and of the Black Lives Matter Global Network. In her book, The Purpose of Power, she critically reviews the movement’s genesis. Garza’s main message to her readers is that a hashtag doesn’t usually start a movement. Behind movements stand people, and sometimes years or decades of dedication to a political cause, as she describes in detail in nearly 400 pages. But a hashtag can give it greater, even global, visibility.

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Kaouther Adimi
December Kids

Kaouther Adimi’s novel The December Kids (original Les petits de Décembre) tells a story of revolutionary children who stand up for their dreams and rights, even when adults are trembling with fear. The novel gives a stage to rousing self-organisation and great courage.

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Ecocriticism and Postcolonialism: When Land Remembers

Ecocriticism is a concept with an interdisciplinary approach that emerged in the United States to examine the different ways in which people imagine human relationships to nature and the environment, and how they portray it in books, films and works of art. Escpecially in combination with postcolonialism, ecocriticism offers incredible potential for analysis.

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Akwaeke Emezi
The Death of Vivek Oji

As one has come to expect of Emezi’s work, The Death of Vivek Oji successfully shakes up conservative constructions of gender. The writer illustrates the loneliness that can come with not conforming to social norms regarding gender and sexuality; the profound pain of not being able to be the person you are.

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Aimee Nezhukumatathil
World of Wonders

In her recently published essay volume World of Wonders, Aimee Nezhukumatathil frames moments in her life that have shaped her, with anecdotes about animals and plants. In this way, she conveys how wondrous and impressive flora and fauna can be, and how much they have to teach.

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