Pictured: Claudia Rankine. Teju Cole. Vivek Shraya. Akhil Sharma. Roxane Gay. Shawn Syms. Atul Gawande. Najwan Darwish.
Two books stand out for me as this year’s best.
CLAUDIA RANKINE’s Citizen, is one of those rare occasions as a reader I was brought to a full stop, several times over. Through Rankine’s eyes we witness what could appear on the surface as banal daily social exchanges, revealed as searing racist cuts that people survive (or not) every day of their lives. The world is wrong. The pain, the sadness is real. The book is a must. Followed by:
She of the Mountains by VIVEK SHRAYA is a most joyous read of a queer boy who insists on his being here not adhering to any labels others attempt to define. This is paired with a wondrous retelling of the story of Ganesh. Combined, love and truth abounds. Fantastic.
The remainder stand out as follows:
CLAUDIA RANKINE Citizen
VIVEK SHRAYA She of the Mountains
LORRIE MOORE Bark
MARGARET ATWOOD Stone Mattress
LOUISE GLüCK Faithful and Virtuous Night
ROXANE GAY Bad Feminist
SHAWN SYMS Nothing Looks Familiar
TEJU COLE Every Day is for the Thief
ATUL GAWANDE Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End