[Book Review] 'White Tears' by Hari Kunzru

white tears hari kunzru

The first time I heard about the premise of this book, I almost could not sleep.

A white guy roams around New York recording all sorts of sounds from the environment. He’s a sound engineer and he intends to use his recordings in a project he’s working on. One time, while reviewing his recordings, hears a song sung by a mystery man.

He’s fascinated, so he tells his white business partner about it. The business partner gets obsessed with the said song until he decides to play with the recording in the studio they own. Once done, he uploads in online, under the name of a made-up singer. He even makes the track sound as though it were extracted from some old blues record, thanks to his skills in sound engineering.

Things get weird when a stranger gets in touch with them, saying that he knows the singer of the song. They try to convince them that they simply invented the singer, but he does not believe them. He swears he knows that person. So, is the singer a ghost or what?

It’s safe to assume that it is indeed a ghost story. It’s not the usual type, though, for it goes beyond haunting on a supernatural level. It does, in fact, tackle other complex topics like race and cultural appropriation.

(Image from Amazon)
Mina Deocareza

[Book Review] 'My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress' by Rachel DeLoache Williams

my friend anna rachel deloache williams

I really enjoyed this book, even though I have some issues with it.

Of course, my enjoyment comes from the fact that it tells a really interesting story about a fake heiress. It’s not every day that we hear of stories like this. It really proves that reality is stranger than fiction.

I don’t trust the narrator much, though. In many parts of the books, she just sounds like some self-righteous person eager to get everyone’s validation by emphasizing how different she is from her friend Anna Delvey (or Anna Sorokin) who happens to be a con artist.

But of course, I am also trying to understand that she must have simply been hurt and traumatized because of her experience. Just reading about her financial struggles after their failed Morocco trip is already exhausting. What more for someone who experienced it first-hand, right?

I still see the importance of this book. As a creative nonfiction writer myself, I understand that sometimes, one’s courage to share a painful story alone already deserves merit. Especially now, when the truth is easily twisted by some for their own advantage.

So yes, it may not be perfect, but still, it’s the kind of book that people need to know about.

(Image from Hachette Australia)
Mina Deocareza