Currently reading – W-3, by Bette Howland. Howland was an American writer born in 1937. This memoir, about her time in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt when she was a divorced, single mother, launched her writing career. However, she shunned the spotlight and her work fell into obscurity until it was rediscovered and reissued by Brigid Hughes at A Public Space. Howland died in 2017.
Currently reading – Counternarratives: Stories and Novellas, by John Keene. Born in 1965, Keene is an American writer, artist, and MacArthur Fellow. This book of short fiction spans the 1600s to the present.
Currently reading – Voices in the Evening, by Natalia Ginzburg, translated by D.M. Low. Born in 1916, Ginzburg was an Italian author who often wrote of family relationships and the effects of fascism. She died in 1991.
Currently reading – Go Tell It On the Mountain, by James Baldwin. Born in 1924, Baldwin was an American author and activist, and one of the most important voices of the 20th century. This was his first novel.
Currently reading – Notes of a Crocodile, by Qiu Miaojin, translated by Bonnie Huie. Born in 1969, Miaojin was a Taiwanese novelist. This novel is a queer coming of age story in 1980s Taiwan. Sadly, Miaojin took her own life in 1995, when she was only 26.
Currently reading – Too Loud a Solitude, by Bohumil Hrabal, translated by Michael Henry Heim. Born in 1914, Hrabal was a Czech writer. He died in 1997.
Currently reading – Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald. Born in 1970, Macdonald is a naturalist, scholar at Cambridge, and writer. Most of her books are about birds and other creatures of the natural world.
Currently reading – Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu. Yu is an American writer born in 1976. This novel won the National Book Award in 2020.
Currently reading – R E D, by Chase Berggrun. Berggrun is an American trans poet. This book is an example of “erasure poetry,” where the author takes an older text (in this case, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and removes a significant amount of its words, creating a hybrid work with a different meaning.
Currently reading – Grand Union, stories by Zadie Smith. Born in 1975, Smith is an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist.