January 10, 2018
Reading as a form of resistance holds strong in 2018
by Stephanie DeLuca
Throughout the past year, we’ve heard, seen, and spoken up in support of the resistance to Donald Trump and his racist, sexist, xenophobic administration. As the first anniversary of his inauguration approaches, the resistance is holding strong and continues to thrive in 2018. There’ve been marches in the streets, protests at sporting events, and a plethora of books published, all meant to aid in this movement. And as Hillel Italie reports for the Associated Press, more books of resistance than ever are expected in 2018.
Italie writes, “The rise of Donald Trump has been mirrored by an expanding literary genre that will intensify in 2018, with dozens of new works expected… Books of ‘resistance’ will include guides to activism, reflections on democracy, investigations of Russian interference in last year’s election and legal analysis, along with poetry and fiction.”
There’s no question that reading is a form of resistance. When we come up against an administration like Trump’s—one that wants to shut us down, keep us quiet, retract our rights—reading gives us the power to fight back. It offers the knowledge to debate our opponents; it teaches us the history of the world so we can avoid the tragic mistakes of generations past; it lights a path towards action and activism; it inspires us to keep going when we feel defeated; it connects us to people who feel the same and shows us that we are not alone.
Italie’s article names a number of books that are contributing to the new literary genre of “resistance.” These books and their authors exist on a wide spectrum: a memoir from Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, a handbook from On Tyranny author Timothy Snyder about signs of authoritarianism, a collection of essays from prominent feminists such as Roxane Gay and Ashley Judd about last year’s Women’s March. There’s not exactly one specific template for these books, but it’s relatively easy to determine what qualifies: whatever challenges the current administration and its policies. As journalist Sarah Kendzior, whose own book on authoritarianism is being reissued this year, told Italie, “I think a diverse resistance is a positive force. Everyone has different insights on how the situation happened and how inhumane and unconstitutional policies can be stopped.”
We here at Melville House are proud to contribute to the resistance, in the best way we know how (spoiler alert: it’s by publishing books) and we will continue to do so throughout 2018.
Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.