Post-MFA Reading List

There are a handful of books I’ve been wanting to get around to for quite a while, and late summer seems like the right time to take them on. I don’t expect the dark tones of Thomas Bernhard to make everyone’s summer reading list, but to me his work is like the smoky taste of puer tea, perfect for humid afternoons and rainstorms. I’m starting with two – Wittgenstein’s Nephew, and The Lime Works.

Then there’s an early Rebecca Solnit, recently reissued by Haymarket Books – Hope in the Dark – which opens like a lawyer for the embattled and beleaguered cause of Hope, the weary defendant. I’m never sorry for reading Rebecca Solnit.

Or for reading Wendell Berry, whose collection of essays Imagination in Place has been waiting patiently for my attention. Wendell Berry and Rebecca Solnit will make for fine company of a warm summer evening.

In the wake of encountering Alison Bechdel at my last residency at VCFA, I’m finally reading her two graphic memoirs, Fun Home and Are You My Mother? I’m pairing these two with another memoir I’ve long intended to read, Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water.

I’ll be reading a couple of books for review as well, including War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence by Anne McGuire. (Did I beg to review this one? Absolutely.)

I expect there’ll be more titles salted in the next couple of months – Donald Harrington’s Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks? Richard Flanagan’s Narrow Road to the Deep North? – but this seems like as good as any a place to start.





  1. If you haven’t read “Notes from No Man’s Land” by Eula Bliss, you might look into adding it to your future reading wish list. Beautiful and powerful essays.


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