What We Are Reading Today: All the Way to the Tigers

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Updated 27 June 2020

What We Are Reading Today: All the Way to the Tigers

Author: Mary Morris

Mary Morris’ All the Way to the Tigers is a travel memoir and quest.
“Alluringly written in short, meditative chapters, it whizzes back and forth between America and India. The female narrator is obsessed with tracking and encountering a real tiger,” said Deborah Levy in a review for The New York Times.
As a child, Morris was haunted in her dreams by a tiger prowling near her bed, “sharpening his claws on my bedposts.”
The review said: “The conceptual opportunity in a memoir such as this is to understand that the reader is stalking the elusive striped beast alongside the narrator. There are six eyes doing the staring: narrator’s and tiger’s, and then the reader’s — another predatory beast waiting to lock eyes with the narrator at the moment she locks eyes with the tiger.”
Levy added: “It is unfortunate, then, that we don’t really understand what it is that Morris is searching for in her wild animal.”
Throughout her long career, Morris has written novels and short story collections, but she is best known for her meditative travel memoirs.


What We Are Reading Today: Conditional Citizens

Updated 26 September 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Conditional Citizens

Author Laila Lalami structures Conditional Citizens as a series of personal vignettes and historical dives that are more broad than deep.
Lalami was born in Morocco and came to the US for graduate school. She stayed because she fell in love with an American, whom she married.
“Conditional citizens, in Lalami’s account, are not allowed to dissent or question the choices of their government; if they do, they are viewed with suspicion, their allegiance to their new country questioned. Conditional citizens also have less freedom of movement,” said Sonia Nazario in a review for The New York Times.
Lalami “is less insightful when she widens her lens to argue that all minorities in the United States — including people born here but of a race, faith or gender not shared by the dominant majority — are discriminated against by their government and others, a heavily worn argument,” Nazario added.
“While her book convincingly lays out the inequalities among citizens, she’s woefully short on remedies and specific ideas for achieving change,” the review said.