Year in Reading

A Year in Reading: Matthew Salesses

By posted at 6:00 am on December 8, 2015 1

I was going to write about Elena Ferrante, but I figured everyone would write about Elena Ferrante. I just sent in a Best of List that was supposed to be five favorite literary things from 2015; mine was:

1. Elena Ferrante
2. Elena Ferrante
3. Elena Ferrante
4. Elena Ferrante
5. Elena Ferrante

coverI am already afraid of the day when I will run out of her books to read. How then will I understand the fraught and duplicitous interactions between human beings and the ways those influence our fraught and duplicitous interactions with the self? But reading must go on! So I’m writing about Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I reread over the summer in order to give a speech. Here are our fraught and duplicitous interactions in America laid bare by a clear-eyed look at some of the major reasons they are so fraught and duplicitous: racism, imperialism, privilege. Only once in 2015 did I cry over a book, and I was surprised to find that it was during the scene in Americanah that recreates Obama’s election in 2008. With how far we have come, we have far to go. I am reminded of that every day. Sometimes I wonder about the books that attempt to bring clarity or give us direction and the books that attempt to record how inseparable our hate is from our love. How does one enact change, in the self, in others? That is the question on my mind these days. Stories are the best answers we have.

More from A Year in Reading 2015

Don’t miss: A Year in Reading 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005

The good stuff: The Millions’ Notable articles

The motherlode: The Millions’ Books and Reviews

Like what you see? Learn about 5 insanely easy ways to Support The Millions, and follow The Millions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr.

The Millions' future depends on your support. Become a member today!

Share this article

More from the Millions

One Response to “A Year in Reading: Matthew Salesses”

  1. C B
    at 3:28 pm on December 23, 2015

    I must get to Americanah and Ferrante sooner than I anticipated. Thanks for the extra encouragement!

Post a Response

Comments with unrelated links will be deleted. If you'd like to reach our readers, consider buying an advertisement instead.

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments that do not add to the conversation will be deleted at our discretion.

NEW COMMENTING RULE: Comments may be held for moderation and/or deleted. Whitelisted commenters will see their comments appear immediately. Don't be a jerk. We reserve the right to delete your comment or revoke commenting privileges for any reason we want.