Reading: Just finished Jay Antani’s The Leaving of Things, about a young Indian man who has spent most of his life in Wisconsin but is forced to return to India with his family when his father takes a job there. It’s set in the 80s, and really manages to evoke time and place, mostly in India, but also the scenes that are set back in the United States. I guess you might call it a YA novel, as the narrator is a young adult, but the book is so beautifully written and elegiac that the term seems reductive–people don’t categorize Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot or Marukami’s Norwegian Wood as YA fiction, as far as I know (do they?). Anyway, I really enjoyed and recommend The Leaving of Things.
(Also, the 2.99 price tag on the Kindle version is a steal. It’s an interesting price point for a book–when I see something so inexpensive, I do look at it with some suspicion, and and if I don’t have any other information at all, I’m likely to pass it by. But it’s low enough that if I’ve heard anything good I’m willing to take a chance much faster than I would at $9.99. In this, I had met the writer, so took the chance and was very glad that I did.)
Watching: What I’m watching is research related. I met another writer, Janice Roshalle Littlejohn, through my MPW program. She’s written a book called Swirling, about interracial dating and relationships, and has been approached about making a fictional screenplay based on material in the book (maybe the way the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes was the basis for Mean Girls), We’re going to meet and talk about her outline for the script. I’m just a consulting, (you know, because I’ve been to film school and stuff) but I think it’s pretty fascinating, so I’ve been watching films that deal with that subject matter. I haven’t had time yet to go back to some older ones I’ve seen in the past, like Look Who’s Coming to Dinner and Jungle Fever, but I’ve re-watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and watched for the first time Crash, and Something New. They aren’t all perfect films, but they each have something to contribute to the conversation, and they make you realize even though mixing is happening all around us, it’s not really a conversation you see in too many movies–at least not in depth. I’m looking forward to seeing where the project goes!