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New Gryphons Read Collection: Expanding on Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet

As Gryphons get ready to dive into this year’s Gryphons Read book, Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet, the collection The Louder the Silence: Visibility and Friendship in Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet provides helpful context. Gryphons Read Program Assistant Taylor Brown curated the collection to give background on the pick, inspired by the texts Shraya directly references and other materials that engage with the novel’s themes. 

In The Subtweet, friends and musicians Neela and Rukmini navigate the complexities of tokenism and representation in the Canadian music industry. Though this work, Shraya explores the topics of identity, artistic expression, representation, tokenism, and internet culture as they relate to feminine friendship and the music industry. 

As a fitting ode to the novel, this collection presents a multi-faceted reading experience by emphasizing different ideas at play, mimicking the many voices represented on a social media newsfeed.  

Vivek Shraya’s Death Threat, one of the titles featured, is a contemporary horror story that explores the unforgiving, anonymous digital world. Death Threat exemplifies the most terrifying, uncontrollable, and unhinged outcome of being online which The Subtweet’s Neela and Rukmini experience as they contend with strangers virtually commenting on their lives, relationships, and art.  

Another work in the collection, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” inspired Rukmini’s band, Subaltern Speaks. In the essay, Spivak explains that the subaltern is a person who is marginalized by their society and must often communicate in the language and style of the dominant group to be heard and understood. This becomes a central idea for Rukmini and Neela as musicians operating within a predominantly white industry.  

This collection of titles was curated by Taylor Brown, our Gryphons Read Program Assistant who is currently completing her BA in English. Taylor developed the vision for this collection and chose the titles included here. Thanks to Taylor for her thoughtful work and for helping us celebrate this year's Gryphons Read program!

To read The Subtweet and participate in discussions surrounding the novel’s themes, register for the Gryphons Read program on GryphLife. 

Author of The Subtweet Vivek Shraya will be virtually visiting the University of Guelph for a live Q & A on September 29, 2021. Find more information about the event and register

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