The books someone has on their bookshelf can tell a lot about a person. With that in mind, we’re allowing you to have a rummage through the shelves of a number of intriguing and compelling voices, as part of this month’s “Curators” theme. Although these authors are all politically and socially inclined, their views are far from politically correct (the kind that aims to avoid any form of confrontation for the sake of upholding normative ideas); advocating a form of social-political awareness through confronting and critical pieces. In other words, they don’t fray away from speaking their mind.
First up to disclose her literary inspirations is Katrice Dustin, a multi-disciplinary writer living and working in Berlin. Her work spans journalism, creative fiction, prose and poetry, and revolves around topics of vulnerability, interpersonal relationships, and the individual’s bond to the self/the ego. The 26-year-old, Canadian-born author has worked for the likes of HERO Magazine, Nii Journal, Charles Jeffrey and Hugo Boss—to name a few—and is set to release her debut book, a collection of published and unpublished writing, in 2018. Here’s an insight into the novels she believes everyone should be turning the pages to this July.
Anaïs Nin, A Spy in The House of Love
“Anaïs Nin is my ultimate hero and I first read this book when I was 16 years old. To read a novel like this as a teenage girl just discovering her sexuality was in hindsight, a real gift. Nin portrays infidelity and the pursuit of desire from the female perspective, with the protagonist, Sabina, deciding to release herself of the weight of feminine sexual responsibility in exchange for, what she believes, is the freedom that comes with doing so as a male. As she delves deeper into her desires, the newfound complexity of her life and her relationships lead her into a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, self-confrontation.”
Sophie Calle, True Stories
“Nobody portrays the honest fragility of the heart quite like Sophie Calle. True Stories is a collection of short stories from the author’s life that deal with issues of insecurity, heartbreak, loneliness and identity. But are all of these stories true? It’s this constant question of fact vs. fiction that Calle is most known for, and a decisive reminder of the lies and truths we tell ourselves in order to deal with traumas.”
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
“Baldwin’s publishers at the time heavily criticized him for choosing to write a gay love story and not another novel about being black in America. They told him this book would ruin his career! Giovanni’s Room is a true masterpiece that leads the reader through the honest chaos and devastation of love, and its effect on the soul. It’s not only a novel of love and heartbreak, but also about consciousness, self-detachment, sexual identity and expatriatism.”