make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend


What Am I Reading: Adam Nathaniel Furman

STIR looks into the reading habits of leading creatives – London-based designer and artist Furman pens down his thoughts about his current read, Lote, by Shola von Reinhold.

by STIRworldPublished on : Nov 02, 2020

What is the name of the book?

Adam Nathaniel Furman (ANF): Lote 

Who is the author?

ANF: Shola von Reinhold

What is the genre?

ANF: Queer alternative fictional history satirical detective novel... It's definitely a genre-buster.

Lote by Shola von Reinhold explores aesthetics, beauty and questions the selective exclusion of Black figures from history | What Am I Reading: Adam Nathaniel Furman | STIRworld
Lote by Shola von Reinhold explores aesthetics, beauty and questions the selective exclusion of black figures from history Image: Adam Nathaniel Furman

Why this book - could you please highlight its most notable aspects?

ANF: I cannot over emphasise just how utterly brilliant the book is. I was desperate for it to not end, and am inconsolable now that it has. It is a coruscating, incandescent, glittering, illuminating and liberating piece of divinely mannered freedom, a queer revolutionary bonfire of delicious alterity. Von Reinhold smashes through the pretensions of the art world and contemporary aesthetic snobbery by creating an exquisitely stylised reinvention of accepted "history", one that is full of earnest affectation, cutting insight, and socially critical flamboyance.

Did you get any significant insights? Did you gain knowledge or did it help you unwind?

ANF: As well as carving numerous sharp insights out from the doggedly hermetic and (at least in this depiction) utterly desolate world of contemporary art, the book is a thoroughly enjoyable, romping page turner. I got completely lost in it, loving its elaborate style as much as its lovable/hate-able characters and the constant pull towards a big resolution/reveal at the end. It really helped me escape lockdown and immerse myself in another world for a couple of weeks, while also giving me a hell of a lot to think about. The very best kind of book.

A page from Lote by Shola von Reinhold | What Am I Reading: Adam Nathaniel Furman | STIRworld
A page from Lote by Shola von Reinhold Image: Adam Nathaniel Furman

Is there any one thing that you would take home from the read?

ANF: A reinvigorated sense of excitement about life and creativity! It's such an uplifting read if you are a bit of a queer oddball who is in any way involved in the creative industries.

What is your favourite quote from the book? Why?

ANF: There are so many fabulously sassy, or deliciously OTT moments in there, but "They humiliated our ancestors for adorning themselves in flowers and beads and gold and tattoos and braids and jewels; they're still at it," from p311 is a good and indicative one.

When do you read?

ANF: I often just take a whole day and just binge on a book, from morning to evening... it's a real pampering, a proper treat for me, normally on a lazy Sunday.

Furman’s well stocked bookshelf | What Am I Reading: Adam Nathaniel Furman | STIRworld
Furman’s well stocked bookshelf Image: Adam Nathaniel Furman

What is your take on the book and one reason why you would recommend it?

ANF: I think you can tell from my previous answers that I most definitely recommend it!

Check out Adam Nathaniel Furman’s zany, multifaceted works articulated by bright colours and geometric patterns here.

Look up more such interesting reads from the series ‘What Am I Reading’ and watch out for more.

What do you think?

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