Monday Books No. 13: Enter the Navel

Aloha, it’s Monday books! I want to recommend Enter the Navel: for the love of creative nonfiction by Anjoli Roy. This is a slender volume downloadable for free by Creative Commons and also available in paperback. I assigned it as a class read. This is a lively, funny, and playful fast read, elicits great discussion, and the range of material about the belly button (personal anecdotes, myth, scientific analysis) was like going down the rabbit hole and made for an absorbing read! I thought, OMG, then YOU ARE KIDDING ME, or WEIRD! Admittedly, I thought: I’m SO GLAD I have an innie! (I got rather involved with navel issues lol) Balinese view their sacred Mount Agung as navel of the world, and the link between Indonesians andPacific Islanders is real, so yes, ideas travel.

Roy follows in the longtime tradition of women creative nonfiction writers as demonstrated by Sei Shonagon (960 AD) and her recording of court life. (She was accused of navel gazing.). Creative nonfiction can be traced to 10th century Japan—to an Asian woman writer. It is awesome that Roy writes, adds, and subverts within this tradition. Storytelling, narrative, description, the details of how we live and the beauty and wonder of our lives – women have forever engaged in this process. A wonderful book. Read it!

~empowering women through narrative~

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