Ruby Rose Lee

Ruby Rose Lee

Ruby Rose Lee has been a voracious reader since she first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods in elementary school and proceeded to be Wilder for Halloween four years in a row. She loves books that deal with human interactions and the way they impact the psyche, and she is currently finishing up her degree in English and East Asian Studies at Barnard College. Originally from Oakland, California, Ruby spends her time getting lost in New York City and/or obsessing over dogs on Instagram (when she’s not reading, of course).

Posts by Ruby Rose Lee

The Art of Finding Yourself in a Foreign Land

Two years ago, I packed up my suitcase and flew halfway across the world to live in Beijing for a summer. While I experienced all the classic tourist moments, what most struck me was that my time abroad revealed to me how much of my identity is based on my being an American. I became part of the local expat scene, frequenting joints known for their western crowds. I lived in Beijing, but specifically within a small, privileged sect of Beijing that was paradoxically both international and isolated at the same time. In her novel THE EXPATRIATES, Janice Y. K. Lee perfectly captures this strange sense of community and life in a foreign, yet oddly familiar, culture.

Remembering First Loves and First Drinks (and Everything in Between)

When I look back at my teenage self, with my ill-advised bangs and strange affinity for glittery blue eyeliner, I remember both the highs and lows of growing up. There were hilarious adventures with friends and moments of intense loneliness in which I felt unsure of who I was. I’ve done my fair share of growing up since then, and I still have a little way to go, but reading Caitlin Moran’s coming-of-age story HOW TO BUILD A GIRL instantly brought back all the memories that I had somehow managed to forget.

A Complex Narrative of Words Left Unsaid

For the well-versed bibliophile, nothing feels quite the same as stumbling upon a book that you feel personally connected to, whether it’s because you’ve been to the city where the story takes place or because you see yourself reflected in the protagonist. I often choose novels simply because they were set in my hometown or have a character who shares my name. So, as a second-generation, biracial Chinese American, I felt all the more drawn to Celeste Ng’s breathtaking debut novel EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, which details a mixed-race family in the 1970s after the mysterious death of their seemingly perfect middle child, 16-year-old Lydia Lee.

A Haunting Portrait of Girlhood

A well-done first-person narration plunges the reader into a story, a mind, much different from her own. For me, the most magical experience of reading comes in that moment, as I fail to distinguish between my inner voice and the one bleeding through a book’s pages, filling me with salient, foreign emotions and thoughts.

A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING by Eimear McBride has continued to haunt me for just this reason since I first read it almost two years ago, and especially after I reread it recently.

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