fangirling | new follows: Kathryn L Christopher & Chris Paul Lai

A good reader never stops looking for material.

Image not mine.
Disclaimer: I have only actually read one of these books. Guess which.

I’m making a concentrated effort to expand my reading to include more Jamaican and Caribbean authors. Sometimes I get lucky and the universe pushes these writers ever so easily into my path. Sometimes I get luckier and I find that I’m genuinely interested in their content.

Most recently I have fallen in love with Kathryn L Christopher‘s poetry. She is a self-styled Afro-Trinidadian woman writer whose themes broach topics about navigating womanhood and the disapora. Her lines and words are poignant, soul-stirring. They have an easy, familiar rhythm, like stepping down the path to the first house you ever lived in.

She reads like an older sister, giving advice to every young woman in the world. And there is of course the rhythm-and-blues vibration of a coloured voice, a Caribbean flavour. It’s a little bit jazz, a little bit rocksteady.

I am utterly envious of the fluency with which she speaks her culture. And I am utterly convinced that no one deals with the issues of sex and love and social pressure like black women. Or women in general. We have a way of carrying these experiences like women of old carried buckets of water atop their heads. We make it look easy. We make it look good.

Speaking of love and sex, my other new follow is author and economist Christopher Lai (of Living the Lai) whose content at first did little to earn my respect. I’m always so sceptical of bloggers who discuss man-an-ooman ‘tory as the main feature of their blog because it’s so easy to get people interested in that topic. Plus, hasn’t everything been said already?

But Lai’s voice offers a fresh perspective on the more common material in male-female relationships with inventive (if sometimes predictable) posts. His surprise slant of being in a committed relationship soothes stings that would otherwise smack of bitterness and gives credence to advice that would otherwise sound like empty words. I find myself (surprisingly) looking forward to reading his blog.

Of course adding more people to my ever-expanding reading list is perhaps not the wisest choice as I transition into my final year of medical school. But I am nothing if not defiant.

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