Wednesday, November 11, 2009

[Retroview] The Year in Books 1995

So, obviously I'm having a lot of fun looking back over yesteryear with this 1995 Nov./Dec. issue of A. Magazine. June Unjoo Yang had taken on the year in books and cited "Five Books I Would Have Read Even If Weren't A Books Editor."  Can you guess what they were?

The Winged Seed: A Remembrance. The memoir by poet Li-Young Lee.

Reef by Romesh Gunesekera, shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Discrepant Histories: Translocal Essays on Filipino Cultures by Vicente L. Rafael

China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture by Jianying Zha

Muae: A Journal of Transcultural Production, edited by Walter Lew, which technically wasn't a book but apparently still interesting to look at.

She also gave a snarky nod to The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, Home Was the Land of Morning Calm: A Saga of a Korean-American Family, by K. Connie Kang, and got a nice jab at Andrea Louie's convoluted opening line to Moon Cakes: "I want to tell you a love story. It has no beginning, no end. So I simply must start somewhere in the middle, which is now."

Dinesh D'Souza's The End of Racism earned her 'Howler of the Year' for his line: "As a self-described conservative, I also acknowledge that the political right has a mixed-to-poor record in supporting civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s."

Again, this is all 15 years ago,but I find it deeply interesting to see where we've been, what held up, and who's still writing. Interestingly, back then she cited the Best and Worst Book Trend of 1995: The Memoir. Which leads in to the interesting question, what's the Best and Worst Book Trend of 2009?

No comments: