For a long time, I predominantly read Science Fiction and Fantasy. And even then it was fairly shallow reading. There is a lot of serious SF that I have never read. I dip into Mysteries once in awhile. I also touch on classics fairly consistently.
This year has been a great year for stretching my reading a bit and trying different genres. I have read a lot more nonfiction this year. I’ve read a lot of new authors, but much of it can still be put in the same 3 genres above. The one area I’ve diverged is what I guess is more contemporary stories. Not a mystery to solve, not an alternate universe. Just life today. The Jodi Piccoult books fit here.
This week I read one that I guess crosses three genres. I see it as part historical fiction as it describes the life of slaves in the 1800’s in the US. It also has a contemporary story of a family, broken and struggling to understand each other. The third genre is African American. It fits into that genre because it was written by an African American woman and it is about African Americans. But somehow putting it into that genre means people who aren’t African American don’t know about it and don’t read it.
I found the book after reading this post on 5 Minutes for Books talking about seg-book-gation. Author Bernice McFadden wrote a letter (you should go to that link and read it) about why good books and authors are disappearing because they are being put into the small category of African American writing and not getting exposure.
I picked Nowhere is a Place. In some ways it was not an easy read because the depiction of the life of the slaves is well done and shows the pain and frustration of that life. In others, it was a very easy read because the story is so well written and pulls the reader along. I will definitely read more by this author and others in this artificial genre.