I love all art in all its mediums. But my first love, and probably always my one true love, is reading. There is nothing I love more than settling in with a good book and getting sucked into a story while the hours melt away. Which is why it has been particularly annoying that so far this year I have managed to read exactly one book due to the demands of my work schedule. But Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo is an incredible book, so at least I chose a good one. It would have been a real bummer if the one book that I’ve managed to read this year was not great.
Thankfully, that is not the case here, because I loved Last Night at the Telegraph Club. It tells the story of Lily, a Chinese-American teenager living in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s, her blossoming relationship with her classmate, Kath, and their secret nights out at the Telegraph Club, a lesbian bar. On a purely human level, this book tells a beautiful story about family, friendships, politics, and burgeoning sexualities. But it was also incredibly and fascinatingly informative. I know literally nothing about being a queer person of colour in 1950s America, but Malinda Lo paints such a vivid picture of the many communities and spaces that Lily occupies, I felt like I was right there with the characters. At the very least, I feel like I’ve acquired a basic level of knowledge on a wide variety of topics.
That’s the joy of books like this. They can take you into time periods and communities that are completely foreign to you, and teach you so many things by simply telling a great story. Now that my ridiculously long work days are behind me, I’m looking forward to finally having the time and brain space to dive into many more books like this.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!