I nearly let my purple sparkly sorting hat decide what I would talk about this week. If I’d had just a little more energy, I’d have written a list of all the subjects (I’m thinking about so many things right now, ranging from whether I should write a vampire cookbook to how to deal with silencing in the current political environment) and chosen one at random. This is the first day in two weeks where the morning began with merely moderate pain, however, and fatigue is ever-present, so I played Solitaire. This was entirely the right thing to do.
The postie just rang my doorbell and she had a little package for me. In the package was something I’ve been after for a long, long time. Let me tell you about it.
The book is by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. It’s two novellas, Sultana’s Dream and Padmarag. Hossain wrote Sultana’s Dream in 1905. Padmarag was translated in 1924, but Hossain wrote it in Bengali. Hossain was a feminist bilingual writer of speculative fiction, how could I not want to read her work? And it’s the hundredth year of the publication of Padmarag very, very soon. I shall celebrate, with food, music and with a reading. Whether that reading is for myself alone or online to share depends. If you’re reading this and would like to be a part of it, let me know!
One last note. It’s Mizrachi Heritage Month right now. Reading the writing of Mizrachi Jews or cooking delicious Mizrachi food doesn’t mean you support what Netanyahu’s doing. It does, however, help us understand a bit about the cultures are of the those Jews who never left the Middle East. Last year I read (here’s a list in case this appeals to you), and this year it’s all about the food. Next year it will probably be both. Right now, though, I’m playing the music of Ofra Haza: my favourite song (“Kirya”) changes the rhythm of my typing.
My background is mostly from Ashkenaz, with a bit of Sephardi. That’s different music and different food. Now, if you will please excuse me, I’m very excited about finally getting a copy of Hossain’s works and I need to read them at once!