For this Sunday’s List, we asked Entropy contributors to tell us what they are reading right now.
Sylvia Aguilar Zeleny
Will I ever finish the Elena Ferrante series? Who knows?! I am a bit behind on book 3: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. I am also reading The Girls by Emma Cline and Umami by Laia Jufresa, not to mention a ton of essays of my Composition students and the essays in The Norton Field Guide to Writing. The End.
The semester has started for me and I’m teaching 4 classes this semester, so no time for leisure reading at the moment. But I’m reading some things that have been on my list and rereading some others. I’m reading Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War by Grace Cho which has been on my radar for awhile but I’m glad to have an excuse to read it now. It’s really stunning and I’m using it as part of this class I’m teaching. I’m also rereading Dictee, which is marvelous, and The Vegetarian by Han Kang which I highly recommend. Today for my intro to creative writing class, one of the texts we’re looking at is “I Can’t Attend” by Ghayath Almadhoun.
Dennis James Sweeney
I just finished Adam Tedesco’s Heart Sutra, which just came out from Reality Beach. It’s a really, really awesome chapbook. Lot of love in it, and how it is made. He told me he used this special puffing solution when he screen printed the cover, so the pink anatomical heart really like almost literally bursts off the paper. Metaphor.
Like Janice, I have little time for leisure reading this semester, but I am slowly working my way through Leopoldine Core’s When Watched, which is EXCELLENT. I’m also reading Willa Cather’s My Antonia for a class– a second or third read, and reading it in the context of a class on modernism is making it a much weirder read than I initially remembered.
Still reading The Peregrine, as Goodreads constantly reminds me. Also, The Book in Japan, Lucinda, very funny and thoughtful poetry by John Beer, Louise Penny’s latest book and Sea of Glass about present day sea biology and the Blaschka family who made beautiful replicas of sea creatures. Yes, I am always reading several books at once, even if some have to be digested very slowly.
Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldana París, Chronicle of a Last Summer by Yasmine el Rashid, and Superman on the Roof (chapbook) by Lex Williford.
I’m reading C.D. Wright’s The Poet, The Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All. It’s an engaging book in its cross-genre approach, standing in the middle of a square formed by poetry, personal essay, biography, and literary theory. In the book she writes “a genre then is a place to get away from and a place to come back to. A shelter for the wayward among us.” I’d recommend it to other writers who, like me, have a turbulent relationship with genre. I find that genres can guide but that they can also hinder and frustrate, that they are things I have to constantly adjust my distance to so that I can see them more clearly. That’s another thing Wright says in the book, that looking is “an unyielding imperative for the poet.” But I think that can apply for any writer: essayists, biographers, theorists & all.
I’m reading the Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. With all the attention being given to the Underground Railroad, especially with Whitehead’s new novel and other books like Foner’s Gateway to Freedom. This sprawling account of the Great Migration is an excellent follow up to those narratives. Told through the lives of 3 individuals who made the trek from Deep South up to NY, Milwaukee, and out to California it’s a harrowing tale and a not so long ago history that must be revisited.