With the results of the election, I am feeling hopeful, but not all the wy satisfied. As we can see from the last four years, all these feelings are not new. Neither are they so old as they were extinct. Donald Trump was a symptom of a much larger problem.
Now that doomsday seems like a next week issue instead of tomorrow, here are some reads that will serve as a reminder that it takes work for us to avoid getting to these places.
The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translator)
What if you woke up one morning and things started disappearing because they were disappearing from our collective memory? This is a story of trying to keep the things we hold dear as the system tries to take them away from us. Read this if you like stories within stories and trippy, sci-fi translations.
The Farm by Joanne Ramos
This one isn’t really dystopian in the traditional sense, but definitely a commentary on what it means to control a woman’s body. The Farm in question a house of luxury and opulence filled with poor, pregnant women of color, having their entire lives controlled in order to have perfect babies for super rich clients. Read this is you believe abortion is a human right and are a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
The Internet: Friend or Foe? With the rise of technology, so much of it monitors every aspect of our lives in order to make them easier. This story raises questions about privacy, control, human rights, and the role of technology. Read this if you feel like the government is watching you from your cameras, or if you’re obsessed with social media.
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
I definitely like the show better, but the book is also a wild ride. So many questions are raised as a number of the world’s population just vanishes and doesn’t come back. This book doesn’t answer any of those questions, but it follows the lives of those who are left behind after the Sudden Departure. Read this if you’re interested in coping with trauma and loss.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
In this The Hunger Games prequel, we follow Coriolanus Snow (recognize the name?) through being a mentor for the tenth Hunger Games. Here is a story about chaos, control, and the social contract as it relates to human nature before, during, and after war. Read this if, obviously, you’re a fan of The Hunger Games and if you like villain origin stories.