As the very real news of an elected Donald Trump begins to sink in, us readers are working overtime, gleaning the latest analysis from news sources and looking for comfort, consolation, and confirmation that our voices are not alone. This can be an isolating time, but the only way to proceed is, as Kate Ward wrote in her note to Bustle readers, "speak up louder ... share your thoughts and feelings with the Bustle community." And, though it might seem counterintuitive, one way to share your thoughts and feelings is . . . well, to read, especially books by marginalized authors.
And, more importantly, to read as a community.
Though accepting Trump's presidency might be a difficult necessity (unless #CalExit gains some serious traction), reading in response to the election is an option, one that stands to benefit you and everyone with whom you share these books. Now, more than ever, we need to cast our votes — our reading votes — for books authored by people who run the risk of being marginalized.
Your thoughts and feelings are worth sharing, but they're especially worth sharing when they're influenced by a diverse array of writers. Want to escape into a book this weekend? (I know I do.) Check out a title by one of these seven marginalized groups.
1. Native Writers . . . Like Delphine Red Shirt
Delphine Red Shirt writes about a bicultural childhood, growing up on the Pine Ride Reservation in the 1960s and 70s, in her memoir, Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood.
2. Writers of Color . . . Like Phoebe Robinson
In her debut essay collection, actress-comedian-entertainer-extraordinaire Robinson writes about race, pop culture, feminism, and, of course, hair. Extra-timely words of wisdom:
Explaining your life to a world that doesn't care to listen is often more draining than living in it.
3. Writers Living In Underrepresented Countries and Places . . . Like Tété-Michel Kpomassie
Kpomassie hails from Togo, where, as a child, he learned about Greenland — and was so captivated that he worked for more than eight years to make the travel. His joyous sojourn memoir, An African in Greenland, celebrates the possibility of diverse human connections, as well as our natural world.
4. Writers with Disabilities . . . Like Nicola Griffith
A diagnosis of MS didn't slow down writer Nicola Griffith, whose novels have been honored with Lambda Literary and Nebula Awards. Her book, Slow River, about one woman's dangerous lessons in privilege is a meaty page-turner.
5. Writers with Illness . . . Like Leland Cheuk
In his Salon essay, "I Wanted To Publish A Book Before I Died," Cheuk writes about being diagnosed with the "deadly MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), a group of diseases that is still often referred to as 'pre-leukemia.'" His novel, The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong, is especially prescient about the current political situation.
6. Writers From Marginalized Ends of the Socioeconomic Spectrum . . . Like Janice Erlbaum
Erlbaum left the home of her abusive mother at age fifteen, and she writes about her experiences in halfway homes and precarious situations in her memoir, Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir.
7. LGBTQIA+ Writers . . . Like Rae Spoon
Transgender songwriter Rae Spoon's debut novel, First Spring Grass Fire, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. This coming-of-age story, set in rural Canada, highlights the clash between conservative and liberal ideologies, as they play out in one family.