I loved this piece on Daily Life, by Alecia Simmonds: Eulogy for a library.
As much as I enjoy my Kindle and the ease of accessing all kinds of books, there will always be a place in my heart for the sacred silence of a library.
In my brief time at the University of Sydney, I also have fond memories of Fisher Library. I remember borrowing an ancient copy of The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. It felt like I was touching a piece of history – the musty tome, the yellowed pages….that book took me back to 1757, to the wildnerness that was America. I discovered that it was a very different story to the movie adaptation, but no less powerful. My favourite parts had to do with descriptions of the Native Americans, the lush descriptions of the rugged terrain, and, of course, the doomed love story between Uncas and Cora Munroe – not Alice, as seen in the movie.
In the book, Cora Munroe is actually not the all-white American heroine seen in the movie. Her mother is African American, and she is described as the stronger of the two sisters, compared to her waif-like sister Alice. Uncas and her fall in love, but back then, interracial marriage was a complete no-no. The solution? Killing off Uncas and Cora, so they could be together in the afterlife!
I was really shocked to read that America only legalized interracial marriage in 1967! Prior to the Loving v. Virginia case, it was literally illegal to marry someone of a different race. This boggles my mind. I’m of mixed ancestry (Malay, Indian and Chinese), and my future children will be too.