Whatever Else You Do, Read This Rachel Dolezal Piece: A Links Round-Up

We made it to another Friday, friends! I hope you all have restful and pleasant weekends scheduled, with lots of yummy foods and indulgent television. But before you get to that, I implore you to give yourselves the unparalleled gift of my first link, a piece about Rachel Dolezal that crashed The Stranger‘s website and hopefully introduced many new people to the superb work of Ijeoma Iluo. So far everyone I’ve sent it to has said “Damn, DAMN” to me — not once but several times — while quoting back to me relevant sections of the article. Feel free to have that response at me on Twitter; I enjoy it.

“I am beginning to wonder if it isn’t blackness that Dolezal doesn’t understand, but whiteness”: Ijeoma Iluo interviews Rachel Dolezal.

The Guardian carried a really fascinating article about separating the artist from the art (and finding ways to acknowledge both artistic brilliance and personal turpitude).

Hysteria, Hillary Clinton, and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a sobering read.

Okay I guess I am a credulous lambkin but this Tampa Bay Times article about farmers’ market produce not really being from local farms blew my mind.

Racebending vs. whitewashing (and another reminder why I love Geeks of Color).

Emily Asher-Perrin on being the uneasy girl in horror movies who nobody believes.

I grabbed Deepak Unnikrishnan’s book on a whim at the library last Saturday, and shortly thereafter I discovered this excellent New Yorker article about him and his book about foreign workers in the UAE.

Welp this remark about what fanfic is for is searingly accurate.

I’m furious at 13 Reasons Why, and this post and this post are two (YES I’M DOING THIS) reasons why. My brother-in-law, who teaches high schoolers, reports that all his students are watching and loving it, and I want to protect all those babies from this harmful nonsense. Ugh.

“Write the things that are weird about your culture, for an audience that isn’t like you”: Six authors of color discuss what they are told when submitting speculative fiction stories to agents and publishers.

I quietly enjoy David Foster Wallace’s essays while feeling very confident that I would loathe his fiction and probably end up wanting to beat him over the head with a tennis racket, so this article on men recommending David Foster Wallace until the heat death of the sun really resonated with me. This Sarah McCarry response includes an excellent anecdote.

Why are you still reading this! Go read that Rachel Dolezal piece!

Review: Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Would anyone here be interested in a compendium of books about mythic beasts by authors of color? Would that be a resource people would enjoy? Or does it already exist somewhere else and I should consult it myself to get All the Book Recs?

Any case, Certain Dark Things is a vampire story set in Mexico City by a Mexican-Canadian writer. In this world, there exist ten known species of vampires, of which we encounter three. The vampire girl Atl and her Doberman Cualli1 are on the run from the Necros vampires who killed her mother and sister. She doesn’t intend to enlist the aid of a street kid called Domingo, at least not for more than one drink, and she certainly doesn’t intend for him to get tangled up with the cops and gangsters and vampires who are chasing her.

Certain Dark Things

Okay, first up, Certain Dark Things is hella violent. There is a non-zero amount of tooth-ripping and face-shoot-offing. If you are a person who cannot handle tooth-ripping face-shoot-offing (which in retrospect I may be that kind of person but it’s too late to learn that lesson now), I may need to direct you to a less gory vampire story. The main vampire searched for Atl is a gross misogynist who fantasizes about doing violent sex things to Atl, which is also not the most fun to read. He does not, however, do any violent sex things to her in practice.

However, if faces getting shot off and silver shards being dug out of bloody human flesh by an unqualified veterinarian are not deal-breakers for you, there’s gold in these here hills. Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s world-building is superb, a take on vampires and vampire rivalries that I’ve never seen before. Her Mexico City has long been a haven from vampires, which is why cop Ana Aguirre transferred there, and she’ll go so far as to ally herself with one of the city’s gangs if it means keeping Atl and other vampires from finding a place for themselves in the city. Meanwhile, Atl tells Domingo about her people’s descent from Aztecs and muses over the possibility of living in Brazil, where the native vampires glow in the dark. I was willing to live with some flesh-tearing in order to keep discovering new pockets of this fantasy world.

And now, a question: Which is scarier, vampires with wings who can fly, or vampires who glow in the dark? Or vampires who can shapeshift?

  1. I know that your immediate question is “Does the dog survive?” SPOILERS HERE: Yes, the dog survives. You will hit a certain point in the book where you think “That rat-fink Jenny, this dog is clearly dead!” but I promise you that no, the dog is not dead. The dog survives. END SPOILERS YOU ARE NOW FREE FROM SPOILERS.