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What we’re reading: writers and readers on the books they enjoyed in March | Books

In this sequence we ask authors, Guardian writers and readers to share what they’ve been studying just lately. This month, suggestions embody a page-turning story of a poisonous relationship, a pocket-sized poetry pamphlet and an allegory of what it means to be alive. Tell us what you’ve been studying within the feedback.


Norman Erikson Pasaribu, writer

Until just lately, I hadn’t been studying something cowl to cowl for nearly a 12 months. I usually bought anxious, and saved placing books down. But I discovered myself bringing The Stories of Mary Gordon virtually in every single place with me. I practised a sort of bibliomancy with it, asking a query that made me anxious, and letting a random phrase, sentence or paragraph current itself. The outcomes required my very own interpretation, however they had been usually shocking and helped me to make sense of what has occurred in my life.

In March, I regained some hope and power and began studying quick tales and poems once more. I loved Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny, which my buddy Anton Hur translated. I reread some poems from Khairani Barokka’s Ultimatum Orangutan. It’s an thrilling e book of poetry – everybody ought to attempt choosing it up. And, final week, I lastly purchased Yōko Ogawa’s The Memory Police (translated by Stephen Snyder)! Such a harrowing allegory of what it means to be alive, to recollect, to have a freedom to recollect.

Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis £9.99) has been longlisted for the International Booker prize. To help the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery costs might apply.

Yōko Ogawa.
‘A harrowing allegory of what it means to be alive’ … Yōko Ogawa. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Melissa, Guardian reader

I’ve been studying Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan. The quick, sharp chapters maintain you turning pages lengthy after you need to have gone to mattress! I’m a sucker for unlikable, flawed narrators and I cherished this unnamed narrator’s inner dialogue as she navigates a poisonous relationship.


Sana Goyal, critic

I just lately learn Preti Taneja’s second e book, Aftermath – written from “the centre of a wound still fresh” – which allowed me to assume by way of terror, trauma, grief and the style wherein we give it form, violence, vulnerability, reminiscence, complicity and empathy. It made me return to and reread fragments from Lola Olufemi’s Experiments in Imagining Otherwise. The resonances between these two radical texts, which provide, above all else, hope for humanity are outstanding and ought to be required studying for everybody.

Like many others, I think I learn Warsan Shire’s eagerly awaited debut poetry assortment, Bless the Daughter Raised By a Voice in Her Head, greedily, in a single large gulp. It surpassed my expectations, and shortly after I turned the ultimate web page of this assortment, I needed extra – extra poems centred on coming-of-age experiences of ladies of color within the diaspora. Pocket-sized, however filled with a punch, Fathima Zahra’s pamphlet, Sargam / Swargam, was the proper follow-up.

Warsan Shire.
‘I read Warsan Shire’s (pictured) eagerly awaited debut poetry assortment greedily, in a single large gulp. It surpassed my expectations.’ Photograph: Shaniqwa Jarvis/the Guardian

Joe, Guardian reader

I’ve not learn Kazuo Ishiguro earlier than, however he’s a kind of enormous authors that everybody talks about that you just really feel like you need to have learn. I picked up Never Let Me Go on a whim, and was greatly surprised by the chatty intimacy of the first-person narrator. She leads us by way of a young examine of what it means to exist in a world the place cloning has blurred the boundaries of humanity. In spite of the clones’ otherness, the trials and turmoil they undergo are hauntingly just like these all of us expertise as we muddle our manner by way of life. For all its subtlety and depth it nonetheless managed to be a page-turner, and I completed it in a few days. It is a e book that can stick with me for a few years.



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