Combating my Privilege – Challenges

So these challenges are all about keeping myself honest and aware of my privileges – white, able-bodied, straight, cis-gendered, middle class, educated… (For the record, my three biggest non-privileges are that I am a woman, I am fat, and I have experienced mental illness. I’m also an atheist – which sometimes feels like a privilege and sometimes does not.) I do a fair amount of blog and online reading in this vein, but I also want to seek out books that are not about white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied people. So!

The POC Reading Challenge got it’s own post a couple of days ago because I also had a wrap-up to do from last week.

South Asian Reading Challenge 2012 

Yes, I’m doing it again and this year I will succeed, dammit! Going to set a minimum goal of just one book, so that if I fail I can be properly ashamed of myself.

Ideas – Something by Amitav Ghosh (probably Sea of Poppies), Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee, something by Salman Rushie (probably Midnight’s Children), The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar

2012 Middle East Reading Challenge 

Along a similar vein, I vow to read, at minimum, one book either set in the Middle East or by a Middle Eastern author. I think I already know the bare minimum one I will read – Mia bought a graphic novel about growing up in Israel at APE last year.

1) Farm 54 by Galit and Gilad Seliktar – This book takes place from the mid? 1970s to the late 1980s and is a semi-autobiographical account of Galit’s growing up in Israel. The main character, Noga, deals with love, sex, a lot of death, and a couple of other themes that I’m having a hard time placing. There’s a strange… Noga doesn’t feel like she has too much agency – perhaps because she is looking back on her life? Maybe because, though she is looking back at her own life, she doesn’t do a lot of introspecting, doesn’t explain why she did what she did. The whole book is very sparse.

I kind of feel like that should only count as half of a book or something – it was so quick, even for a graphic novel. Maybe I will keep my eyes open for another book to add to here.

I haven’t been able to find challenges for the following categories, so I’m just going to set some goals:

1 book from Japan – either Murakami or Ishiguro
1-5 books from the following African regions (one book per): North, South, East, West, and Central – Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okoafor
1 book by or about a transgender person AND/OR 1 book by or about a disabled person –
1 lesbian or gay romance novel –


7 thoughts on “Combating my Privilege – Challenges

  1. Have you read “Persepolis?” Really good, stark, sometimes tragic graphic novel about a girl growing up during the Iranian revolution. The sequel gets into the immigrant experience and coming-of-age after she escapes Iran and lives in Europe for a while.

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