“Maybe the Dutch smiled like that when they gave trinkets to people of the Carnarsee—a band of the Lenape—and laid sole claim to what all others had shared for millenia. Probably every ethnic group he meets thinks he’s one of theirs, at least partially. It’s a subtle, manipulative bit of magic, and Bronca resents theContinue reading “The Science Fiction We All Should Read”
“They are stripping from me, she said subvocally — feeling like a fluttering curtain in a very high window, moving up then out over the abyss — they are stripping away, one by one, my men.” Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 Both Franny and Zooey and The Crying of Lot 49 have beenContinue reading “Postwar Classics”
“I spend much of the night thinking over the whole question of running the house successfully, and tell myself–not by any means for the first time–that my abilities are very, very deficient in this direction.” -E.M. Delafield. Diary of A Provincial Lady I bought Diary of A Provincial Lady at a used bookshop in ScotlandContinue reading “Diary of a Fellow Writer”
“He knew that it was just that he was a man with bits of himself broken. That’s all it fucking was.” -Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way My goal for my time at home is to get through as many of the unread books in my room as possible. I decided to start with threeContinue reading “Borrowed Books”
“No Aussie saw this line, which followed Danny around the world; but anyone who grew up in Sri Lanka in the 1990s knows this black line, what it loudly commands of one, what it quietly permits.” -Aravind Adiga, Amnesty Amnesty by Aravind Adiga is the second (and last!) proof I snagged from the bookstore beforeContinue reading “Seeking Amnesty”
I had to write a few drafts of this post before I liked it. It’s too hard to concentrate on writing right now; a week ago I had a job and I lived in London, and now I’m unemployed and I’m staying with my parents in America until all of this calms down. Regardless, I’veContinue reading “Escaping into Austen”
Faith was one of those people, Greer had started to see, who was seductive to almost everyone. -Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion I read The Female Persuasion out of curiosity. It’s been on a table in the bookstore for a while, and I wanted to know if it was worth recommending. I don’t think itContinue reading “The Female Persuasion”
“Let me tell you about when I was a girl, our grandfather says.” -Ali Smith, Girl Meets Boy Ali Smith and Christopher Isherwood are both classic queer writers. I know I never stop talking about Smith, and I read Isherwood’s Berlin Novels for the first time last year. They were fantastic, very funny and, byContinue reading “Queer Stories”
I almost never read nonfiction, partially because I write fiction and I want to learn more about the craft, and partially because I assume it won’t be interesting. That’s not true, of course.
I like to try books that people recommend to me because I’d never pick them out myself. These two were recommended by one of my managers at the bookstore. I’d never heard of Claire Messud, and I’d heard of Alan Hollinghurst, but he wasn’t high up on my list of authors to try.