Who Do You Protect, Who Do You Serve? is the first book of my read-in that I started last week. I’m about half way through, and just finished a chapter that was challenging for me, on the treatment of pregnant Black and Latina women in police custody. I felt resistance, and something that can only be called judgement. I felt myself going to a place of “I would never put myself or my unborn baby at risk like that.” Pushing past that visceral emotional response, I know the responsibility for the treatment of pregnant Black and Latina women lies with the officers themselves, and the system that perpetuates this violence, and that my initial reaction was my bias rearing its ugly head, something that runs counter to my value of compassion.
The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh ended up in my research pile because of it’s subtitle- Climate Change and The Unthinkable. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the book is actually about the failure of the modern novel to address the issue of climate change in a non-science fiction angle! It’s b’shert or something. It is also somewhat of a masterclass in the novel structure. I’ve struggled with world-building in my novel, and Ghosh helpfully points out that the novel requires a setting that is a microcosm of the larger world– I’ve visualized it as a zooming-in to the exact location where the story takes place.