Love, Hate & Other Filters

Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blood depiction
  • Bullying
  • Disownment
  • Hate crimes
  • Hospitalisation due to physical injuries, the result of a physical assault
  • Islamophobia
  • Suicide bombing & self-immolation mentioned
  • Racism

A General Theory of Oblivion

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa

On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment’s walls.

Almost as if we’re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window. As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Burns
  • Murder & mass murder
  • Pregnancy from rape
  • Rape
  • Slavery
  • Torture mentioned
  • War themes