Barbara Browning came to life before me on a chilly gray Sunday, as I lay under the bedsheets, dressed in wool for warmth. I’d just finished Sheila Heti’s How Should A Be?, a book that left me feeling a little bit empty and angry. I was in the mood to read more, it was a day made for reading, and so I followed it with Tove Jansson’s Fair Play, a book about artists and writers performing their art on the pages, through video and film.Read more.
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CS: First question–Maybe it’s too tedious or too politically correct to mention it, but the racebending in this book is more convoluted than the genderbending in a performance of “As You Like It” during the Elizabethan era. What does it mean to be a white person writing a mixed race man who deals with intrusive Stupid White People questions about his life and art? What does it mean for you to write a mixed race character who notices a paucity of other people of color in the spaces that he’s in, or gets tired of children asking what exactly he is?Read more.