Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

their eyes were watching godLiterary texts are known to reflect the times during when the author was alive. It acts like a platform in which the author could express their thoughts and opinions clearly, through fictionalized characters. In a sense, it is a window for the reader to see a bigger world. Zora Neal Hurston’s acclaimed work ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ is said to hold a mirror to the lives of the black community during the 1930s—a time during the Harlem Renaissance, which is an explosion in the black movement in New York. Through deft characterization, narrative techniques and woman/marriage, it focuses attention on global issues that are still being projected today like racism, misogyny and male patriarchy. Through these, Zora Neal Hurston reflects and challenges the spirit of times and culture during those era, inviting the reader to join her.

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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco

the mysterious flameAmnesia is never a good thing to begin with. Especially losing your episode memory. Giambattista Bodoni couldn’t remember anything. Who his name was, who his wife was, who he was, everything was erased. He felt like he was floating in fog, and he couldn’t find his way out. It may be your usual amnesia story, except that Yambo (that is what everyone calls him, and I will continue to refer to him as Yambo as typing Giambattista is much more complicated) remembered passages for almost every book that he has read before in his life.

It’s funny because this book alludes to so many books that I’ve read before. I nearly laughed out loud when I came across Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Moby Dick‘s famous opening line in the book. Of course, since I’ve only started reading heavy literature three years ago, I don’t get all of the jokes inside this book.

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

cover-1Q84To begin things with things, I have the tendency to pronounce the title of this book as ‘I Q Eighty Four’ instead of ‘One Q Eighty Four’. The title itself can obviously mean many things in the book. Of course, the reason for the book title is given half way through the first book (yes, it is a trilogy.) It is made pretty clearly that IQ84 stands as a name for the world that Anomame (the main character of this book) has stumbled on. It is to remind her that the world is no longer the 1984 that she had known. But this also alludes something else. Many critics had said that 1Q84 rivals George Orwell’s 1984, being like a parallel Asian literature form of it. It can be observed that 1984 has been alluded many times in the book. It is clear that Haruki Muakami loves putting reference to other writers in his book. I remember laughing out loud when Charles Dickens was mentioned. The memory of suffering to read his Great Expectations hit me really hard.

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