Reading on the Fringe

I’ve noticed my book cases are dominated by dead white men. Going a step further, I’d say dead, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon men. This shouldn’t come as a shock seeing how the publishing industry has been historically dominated by WASPy dudes. But it’s a new dawn and a new day, and I’m changing things up.

It’s not good enough to bemoan the absence of alternative voices; you have to go out of your way to support it. Thus, I’ve decided that for every WASPy dude that I read, I’ll read something by an alternative voice, be it a woman, a homosexual, or a non-Anglo-Saxon. For example, the next book I’m planning to read is House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. After that I think I’ll read “A Cyborg’s Manifesto” by Donna Haraway.

Here are some more authors and texts I’d like to read:

Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace.

I’m embarrassed to have only lately gotten on the Atwood bandwagon. As an undergrad, I read Morning in the Burned House, a collection of poetry. However, in December I finally read The Handmaid’s Tale, and loved it. Subsequently, I read Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. I’m also itching to read The Blind Assassin.

Edward Said – Orientalism

I read a chunk of Orientalism as undergrad and have been meaning to read the full book for years. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it’s basically a deconstruction of the west’s depiction of the east.

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Aside from Albert Camus, I don’t think I’ve read anything by an African, let alone a black African. I’ve read books about Africa by white guys, though. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness comes immediately to mind, whom Achebe called “a thoroughgoing racist.”

Virginia Woolf – “A Room of One’s Own”

I love Woolf’s fiction. Mrs. Dalloway is one of my favorites. “A Room of One’s Own” is Woolf’s manifesto for creating a space for female literature.

Michel Foucault – The History of Sexuality

I read Madness and Civilization and loved it. Foucault’s approach to history is a great mix of Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. Foucault was a homosexual sado-masochist, so I’m intrigued to learn more of his thoughts on sexuality.


These are just a few titles I pulled off the top of my head. If you’ve read any of these books and would like to comment, or suggest other titles, I’d love to hear from you.



~ by braddunne on August 25, 2013.

2 Responses to “Reading on the Fringe”

  1. Things Fall Apart was a great read for me. Enjoy!

  2. I hope you like Things Fall Apart. It is a great read.

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