Litstack Rec: The Vexations & Relics

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The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks The lives of artists, when depicted in novels, must portray artmaking for what it is: work—anything else is an outsider’s view—and Caitlin Horrock’s debut novel, The Vexations, occupies that inner view; it’s an intricate portrayal of the life of modernist composer Erik Satie—and his artmaking—that mines his most nuanced sensibilities: [….]

Litstack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Zombie Baseball Beatdown

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Epilogue: A Memoir, by Will Boast Both a remembrance and a elegiac account of the loss of a family, Boast’s 2014 memoir (a recipient of The Rome Prize) tracks the tragic early death of his mother Nancy, the untimely death of his younger brother Rory, and the family secret left behind after his father Andrew’s [….]

LitStack Rec: Manhood for Amateurs & A Fort of Nine Towers

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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, essays by Michael Chabon The trope of fatherly wisdom, borne of experience and dispensed with measured calm, is a wonderful thing, but how realistic it? There are some great memoirs about fathers. Alysia Abbott’s Fairyland and Will Boast’s Epilogue come to mind, [….]

Litstack Recs: Passage to Ararat & The Orphan Master’s Son

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Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen Tuesday, April 24, marked a sober anniversary, 103 years since the Armenian genocide, when 1.2 million Armenians systematically died at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government. In Little Armenia, in Los Angeles, marches and observances gave voice to the painful legacy of the genocide for the ancestors [….]

Litstack Rec Fear: Trump in the White House & Six Gun Snow White

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Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward The story has been called a bookend to Richard Nixon’s, a tale of hubris, an account akin to a ticking clock. Of Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House, George Packer wrote in the New Yorker, the book “belongs on a shelf with the literature [….]

LitStack Recs: Cutting Teeth & Green

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro When my daughter was little, there was a universally acknowledged sentiment among the parents I knew. We referred to  summer as the busy season, when the steady routine of the school year fell away and the schedule went overtime. Still, when your kids are small, there’s a lovely innocence to [….]

Litstack Rec: The Love of a Good Woman & The Windup Girl

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The Love of A Good Woman, Stories by Alice Munro The short story has few practitioners as skilled as Alice Munro, now 88, a writer who’s all but required reading during #ShortStoryMonth. Munro famously began writing stories as a young mother, finding the story took “less time.” Lucky for readers that the genre turned out [….]

Litstack Rec: Arranged Marriage & Class A

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Acclaimed poet, novelist, and story writer Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s first book of fiction was published in 1995. The eleven stories in Arranged Marriage reveal her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation and the compound identities that come with leaving one place, and its engrained customs and beliefs, for [….]

Litstack Recs: Selected Stories & Space Opera

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Selected Stories, by William Trevor Today’s rec continues a celebration of #ShortStoryMonth. A volume of stories by William Trevor is a reader’s must-have, and this 2009 collection brings together some of the great writer’s best—48 classic stories, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and literary magazines such as Glimmer Train [….]