thosedaysthatwill  asked:

Hello, ma'am. *curtsies* 1984 was number one on Amazon and a lot of people are talking about it (and "It Can't Happen Here"). What are your thoughts on speculative fiction like that (and the current climate in the US)? Also do you have any others that you would recommend?

*curtsies* I think people are trying to make sense of things. I think that’s why these books about unimaginable dystopian futures are suddenly spiking in popularity–because that’s what people feel like they’re in. I get it. People are searching for answers in fiction because nothing in real life makes sense. And also, it’s just part of our vocabulary. I referred to the election as ‘Orwellian’ before I even knew 1984 was going to have a resurgence, because as a book person it’s just part of my vocabulary. It’s how I relate to things. And while your average Joe might not be able to make heads or tails of the morally insane game of musical chairs that’s happening in Trump’s cabinet right now, they can absolutely identify with the feelings of terror and oppression they remember reading about in high school. Personally I think it’s great people are re-reading Orwell, because it will make it that much harder for them to be passive about what’s happening around them. 

Anyway. Other ideas would be Animal Farm, obviously, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Personally I’m on a weird Vonnegut kick right now; partially because Vonnegut was writing (mostly) in a time of similar conflict between government and citizens, but his sense of humor makes it all a little less dismal to read about. 

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” 

- President Theodore Roosevelt

 “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.“ 

- George Orwell

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it." 

- Mark Twain