Nicole Dennis-Benn discusses her latest book, Patsy, a novel that explores issues of motherhood, the working class, sexual identity, and immigration, with Concepción de León. The complicated protagonist of the novel makes a series of difficult decisions throughout the book, forcing Dennis-Benn to take on perspectives not always familiar to her. “Sometimes I take breaks, maybe a week or two to really assess, ‘What am I really judging?’ For example, with the motherhood part, I’m judging this woman who absolutely cannot embrace her role as a mother. Realizing I had to really unpack my own upbringing, my own socialization as a Jamaican woman—or a woman, in general—and then move forward.”
Mark Dimunation was on the committee that selected the 88 books for the Library of Congress’s current “Books That Shaped America” exhibit. Recently he did an interview with NPR‘s Lynn Neary in which he explained how he arrived at his decisions to include such works as Goodnight Moon, The Joy Of Cooking, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Over at The New York Times, Citizen author Claudia Rankine reviews Teju Cole’s new essay collection. As she puts it, “Cole attempts to untangle the knot of who or what belongs to us and to whom or what do we belong as artists, thinkers and, finally, human beings.” Pair with this Millions interview with Cole.