Mahalia Solages on her 5 Favorite Books

Mahalia Solages

Mahalia Solages is the author of two children’s picture books. Her fiction has appeared on WritingRaw and Onè?Respè? and she’s a regular contributor to Haitianista. One of her short stories received an honorable mention from Lorian Hemingway. Her ongoing projects include two women’s fiction novels and a young adult book. Before settling into the study of the literary world, Mahalia received her degree at the New York School of Interior Design, but continued her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Florida International University, and Nova University. She worked as a flight attendant for over a decade, then became a pilot and a flight instructor. Mahalia studied creative writing through various courses, including Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Mahalia continues her life in Florida with her family and roommates, Misha and Mr. Nelson—the cats.

Mahalia tells us about her 5 favorite books of all times:

We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
This story was intense. I felt embarrassed and couldn’t believe Ms. Shriver had me disliking a small child. This woman is so eloquent, she will have you reaching for a dictionary.

The Ties That Bind, by Chris Bohjalian
I like books that weave stories that make you swear you read about it in the paper. He so effortlessly placed the disturbing twist at the end that it wasn’t until I felt the goosebumps and read through it that I realized what had happened. What? I had to go back.

Midnight, by Sister Souljah
I loved how Ms. Souljah flowed me through the evolution of her character, Midnight. Recently, I walked along Canal Street and Chinatown in New York wondering if what she said in the novel was true. Unlikely, but she had me pondering the possibility nonetheless.

Room, by Emma Donoghue
Scary. Creepy. Poignant. It is your worst nightmare, but I was cheering the world created inside the “room” for the sake of the child. Didn’t I read about this in the paper? Ms. Donoghue covered points that I never thought about in these situations, like learning how to go up and down stairs. Wow! Her imagination was inspiring.

My fifth choice is For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange. But, (there’s always a but) because it is a play and because I really am having a hard time choosing between three other books (and I’m only allowed five), I’m going to squeeze them here: The Metamorphosis (Kafka), Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck), and Island Beneath the Sea (Allende).

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