Discerner Of Hearts And Other Stories [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Olive Senior Published by McClelland & Stewart, Ltd. (1995) ISBN: 9780771080548 (ISBN10: 0771080549) Bought a copy of the book. Book quotes and layout via Canva.
This is the twelfth book that I am reviewing / featuring as part of our #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 reading theme from my target list of 25 books (for this year) from This Is The Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf In 50 Books (Amazon | Book Depository) – and the tenth novel written by a female author.
My book log indicates that I started reading the book on August 18 and finished it on August 26.
Reading the stories felt familiar to me: issues of class struggle, the power imbalance among helpers and “masters” (the matter of who truly holds the reins in any household), the so-called superstition deeply rooted in a belief of something bigger than one’s self and righteousness and comeuppance – all resonated with me. I was born and raised in a country where helpers are kin – distant cousins of sorts – yet the divide remains. And who could not love the title: Discerner of Hearts – I previously thought I was pretty good at this, but recent events have made me question the accuracy of my supposed discernment.
These are some of the quotes that stood out for me:
This concept of beauty as defined by colonizers is something that is also shared by my home country, the Philippines: the elevation of the mestiza over those who are darker-skinned; and this notion persists up to this very day.
This book has a distinct lyrical voice to it. I can taste the pain and grief of the characters and their distant longings through the language unfettered and let loose. I definitely want to read more of Olive Senior.
#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 93 out of target 100
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