Ana Castillo’s Resistance Reading

Authors pick books that bring solace and understanding in a time of rancor.

Drew Stevens

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We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to suggest the books that bring them solace or understanding in this age of political rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here’s what the celebrated author and poet Ana Castillo had to share.

Latest book: Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me
Also known for: So Far From God
Reading recommendations: I find myself returning once again to Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, a compelling study on New World Order economics. Klein credits economist Milton Friedman as the mastermind of “unfettered capitalism” and proposes that, according to Friedman’s tactical nostrum, real change can only happen out of crisis. While most of the world may stockpile supplies in the event of a disaster, “Friedmanites” stockpile free-market ideas.

Worth adding to any library is The Wind Is Spirit: The Life, Love, and Legacy of Audre Lordea collection of essays compiled by Gloria I. Joseph, Lorde’s romantic partner at the time of her death. It brings together memories from more than 50 contributors—such as Sonia Sanchez and Angela Davis—and reminds us not only of the significance of Lorde’s work, but also of the importance of a writer’s perseverance in the face of political adversity.
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The series so far: Daniel Alarcón, Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Ana Castillo, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, William Gibson, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Alex Kotlowitz, Bill McKibbenRabbi Jack Moline, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peggy Orenstein, Wendy C. Ortiz, Darryl Pinckney, Joe Romm, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Tracy K. Smith, Ayelet WaldmanJesmyn Ward, and Gene Luen Yang. (New posts daily.)

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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