Books & Game Reviews
I mostly review books on sites like the StoryGraph, but I am also happy to review them for other outlets. I am also happy to review games. While in the past I have posted negative reviews, I have not shared them below, as I now avoid reviewing books and games negatively. (Please note, this does not mean I will write a false glowing review; I would rather not write the review at all.)
I did ask myself those questions. Though at first I was frustrated when Shapiro brushed off people who reminded her that “Your father is still your father,” reading further made me realize how confused I would be if I learned my heritage and identity were not what I’d always believed them to be. Both of my parents are Persian; our entire family is from Iran and has been for as long as we’ve existed. At least, that’s what I’m told. And that’s where doubt nags at me: How devastated and betrayed would I be to learn that something so fundamental about my life wasn’t true? Inheritance is less about Shapiro not being her father’s “real” daughter (she is, as she acknowledges by the book’s end), than it is about the difficulty of accepting a sudden loss of identity.
No Longer Home is a game that would have really spoken to me five years ago. At the end of 2016, I left my PhD program and moved across the country to join my then-new husband while he started a master’s program to change his career. I felt unmoored in my life, untethered to anyone in my new home, and deeply depressed. What was I going to do with myself, now that I’d left my career as a scientist, a “useful” career? How was I going to make writing work? I found solace in games, even though those games didn’t speak to my situation. Despite the differences, No Longer Home would have resonated deeply with what I was going through, more so than the sorts of uncertainty I’m dealing with now.
© 2022, Naseem Jamnia
Photos of Naseem by Jennie Kaplan, 2018, and Jeramie Lu, 2022