Sweater: Thrifted (Tulle) — Pants: J.Crew — Camisole: Gap — Boots: 6pm.com (Diesel) — Earrings: QuellyRue — Necklace: Gift
After six months of wandering astray, I return like the prodigal daughter to Gracey’s Literary Stylings! Momentous!
I had a good handful of books to choose from this time around, and after much (okay, some) deliberation, I went with Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber. It’s a hard book to summarize, but basically: girl, Tan-Tan, grows up on a Caribbean-colonized planet as the daughter of a mayor; mayor commits a felony and escapes with Tan-Tan to a parallel dimension used as a prison world by the main planet; Tan-Tan grows up among hardened criminals; and things progress from there.
It’s a really excellent novel–possibly one of the best I read in 2015, actually. Hopkinson creates two rich, vivid worlds in Toussaint and New Half-Way Tree, and a complicated young protagonist in Tan-Tan. The book is written in patwah and has a gorgeous rhythm and poetry to it, and many pieces of the story–including the relationship between colonizing humans and colonized alien species–are done with what feels like a great deal of thought and care. I would like to give a strong content warning about the sexual abuse of children; it’s a deeply-entwined part of the story, and I wouldn’t recommend you pick it up if that’s going to affect you adversely.
It’s hard to do the book justice with one outfit, especially when it’s winter and that outfit doesn’t feature any feathered crowns from the Miss Universe pageant, but I did my best. The boots and pants are meant to represent Tan-Tan’s survivalist teenagehood, since I couldn’t really wear a dhoti to work in January; the sweater is at least close to saffron yellow, Tan-Tan’s favorite childhood color; the earrings are a nod to the Afrofuturism of the novel (although I’d like to acknowledge that wax print is not as strong in Caribbean culture as, say, madras); and the wee skull necklace is for the Midnight Robber persona that pops up repeatedly around the book’s Carnival scenes and which Tan-Tan eventually adopts as her own.
Ultimately, Midnight Robber is an intense book that I very much recommend if you feel up to the things I mentioned above; Tan-Tan doesn’t have an easy life, and her suffering is not shied away from. I think there’s a lot of reward if you can forge on through, though. Now go check out Gracey’s Literary Stylings post, and those of the other folks who’ve linked up!