November 6, 2015, by Sunita Tailor
Radhika’s Top 5 Autumnal Writers 2015
This blog post was written by final year American Studies and English student, Radhika Chond from the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.
To get you in the spirit for university and the world of academia…
Reading lists are out and you may be faced with a waterfall of new material to sink into. I’ve got them, so if you’re taking an Arts subject, I’m sure you have too. And if you don’t or this is news to you, then it’s time you checked our University emails!
I suggest you give one of these texts a try to stay feeling Summery, whilst beginning to gear your mind into a more autumnal, academic and reflecting mood…
1] Haruki Murakami:
This absolute wizard of a book is totally worth a read if you want something culturally different but easy on the eyes to read. All of his works are originally written in Japanese which is his native language – and then translated by many gifted translators and writers to produce the novels which are so revolutionary, different yet familiar from the first read! The simplicity of the translations is nothing to be fooled by as the subject matter is far from simple. By writing about contemporary Japanese issues, Murakami welcomes us as the reader into a world and culture that is entirely his own. Whilst following the encounters of his protagonists we are rewarded with a slice of Japanese customs and lives, a window into the minds of other twenty-something year olds. His work varies in length from short stories to his absolute magnificent work IQ84 which is split into three books, from the adolescent pangs of love and betrayal to sisterly intuition. His work also has an emphasis on animals as recurring motifs and themes so if you’re into wildlife this is also an author for you to pursue. So, are you ready to amble down a Norwegian Wood? Or perhaps visit The Strange Library, venture on A Wild Sheep Chase, perhaps After Dark and end up encountering his Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World…
Other Works Include: Kafka On The Shore, Dance Dance Dance, IQ84, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
2] Toni Morrison
This woman is an absolute genius of a writer and will have you hooked from the very first page. You may have encountered some of her work on your course, and if not, there is nothing stopping you from grabbing the nearest copy of her books and sitting back with a cup of tea as you vicariously live through the tangible struggles of her protagonists. She takes you on a visceral journey:the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental condition and being a black person in America literally jumps out of the page and screams in your face. You will be on the edge of your seat feverishly tearing through the chapters until the resounding conclusion. Have you got what it takes to live alongside her protagonists and share their struggle?
Explore: Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song Of Solomon, Home, Love, Jazz, Tar Baby
3] D.H Lawrence
‘Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself…’
Nice little bit of worldly wisdom from our regional author right there.
We’re at uni – now’s the time to shape our lives and make an Impact on the world, like seriously. How can we not have this man on this list, especially as The D.H Lawrence Festival of Culture is running from 22nd August to the 19th September in celebration of his works and legacy! His work will remain a classic and is perfect to sink into as you ride the waves from August to September in preparation for University. Especially if you’re enrolled on the Year 3 module entirely dedicated to him, it never hurts to be ahead of the game. From the scandalous Lady Chatterley’s Lover [which, yes, was banned for a while in England and the USA for being too explicit, but only for a while] to Women In Love, to his vast array of poetry, many of which describe London during the war years, there’s something for everyone. Plus, he’s a through and through Nottinghamshire lad, born in Eastwood. His legacy is as renowned in the Lit-sphere as Robin Hood – it would be an absolute crime not to pick up his work!
Sink Into: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, England My England, The White Peacock, The Lost Girl, Twilight In Italy
4] Laura Barnett
What if you said yes?
What if you had said yes at that particular moment?
The word ‘yes’ has resounding ripples that influence the future. That much we can all surmise, even without picking up a book.
Just saying yes when Mum asks if you want a freshly baked apple pie will result in a happy tummy after dinner. If you stayed silent you may have gone to bed with a grumbling stomach instead. And no one likes the feel of a gremlin-in-residence when you’re finally in bed after a long day.
Okay, so perhaps apple pie is not the best example, but you can see what I’m getting at right? A little bit? Understanding the resounding impact of the word (yes) to shape our life?
Now, I’m a sucker for a good cover when it comes to selecting my next read. It’s true. Despite having the age-old warning, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ sometimes, you simply have to embrace the bookshelf in front of you, take down the book whose physical allure has attracted you and then inevitably devoured every word that follows the pretty cover. We’ve all been guilty of it I’m sure!
So this is exactly how I stumbled across this novel, and am I glad I did! One novel, three versions of that same story, three extremely different lives but at the same time the events are so intricately entwined. For those of us who are aware of the unpredictability and volatility of life, who know that each life decision is a crafting tool and who would like to know what would have happened had we coasted down the road not taken, this book is for you! I devoured it in a mere 3 days and believe me, it’s worth reading before you start back in September and begin to make those life-changing-what-if-I-say-yes-decisions.
5] Robert Frost
And talking about taking the road not taken, let’s not forget about this absolute gem in the literary world!
Everyone loves a good poet. Amongst all the hustle and bustle of everyday life it’s sometimes just the perfect thing to come home, pour some coffee and flick through Frost’s collection of poems devoted to living, nature and maturing. Take a swing on Birches, step outside and discover a Black Cottage, and even immerse yourself in Desert Places, After Apple Picking…
Trust me, if there is one poet you pick up as you watch summer dissolve into the warm hues of autumn then Frost is the one for you. Then leave a comment and tell me which one of his vast selection of poems particularly took your fancy, I would love to know!
I hope you find this guide helpful and discover something to sink your teeth into before term kicks off! For now, I’m waiting for the kettle to boil for my fresh Jasmine Tea and some magical Murakami…
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