The Sandman Audiobook by Neil Gaiman and Dirk Maggs (2020)
Vikram Nijhawan, Staff Writer
The renowned fantasy author reimagines one of his most celebrated works in a new creative adaptation. Alongside radio dramatist Dirk Maggs, Neil Gaiman presents the tales of Morpheus, the undying Lord of Dreams, throughout history and time. In partnership with Audible, they reconfigure the visual source material – that of graphic novels – into an oral medium, simulating the comfortable experience of friends sharing stories around a campfire. Much like his eponymous protagonist, Gaiman manipulates the grains of narrative to construct a series of thrilling, thought-provoking, and at times horrifying vignettes. The high production value, combined with a talented ensemble of voice actors – including James McAvoy, Riz Ahmed, Kat Dennings, Andy Serkis, and even Gaiman himself – make for a unique, metaphysical exploration of storytelling.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)
Joshua Chong, Senior Editor
Did playwright Lorraine Hansberry pen A Raisin in the Sun six decades ago, or rip it off the typewriter yesterday? Because her searing portrayal of an African-American family, struggling to cling on to all hopes of a future amidst the civil rights movement, is also a chilling reflection of the socio-political moment we are in today. Hansberry paints a thrilling and disturbing picture of the Younger family as a suffocating fog of uncertainty and despair descends on their ramshackle apartment in the southside of Chicago. One by one, the dreams of each family member get plucked away by crushing societal forces. Hansberry expertfully juxtaposes moments of pathos and humour in this staunchly realistic piece, and at the end, leaves readers with newfound hope and optimism – something we could all use right now.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (2016)
Jessie Wu, Staff Writer
Novelist Madeleine Thien works magic once again in her latest award-winning historical fiction novel: an emotional tale that spans the lives of multiple generations across multiple continents. At the centre of this epic are Marie and Ai-Ming, two young women who suffer from the consequences of the Cultural Revolution in present-day Vancouver. As they bond and struggle to piece together their intertwined pasts, they are inexorably drawn into the stories of their fathers – shy but brilliant composer Sparrow and his student, Kai – to reveal the darkness behind 1989 Tiananmen Square censorship and oppression. Thien’s immersive narration explores both intimacy and politics, life and death, purpose and aimlessness, and sound and silence.