LitStack Recs: Green Thoughts & Nightwise

Published on :

Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden, by Eleanor Perényi If you’re a writer who gardens, Eleanor Perényi writes in her foreword, “sooner or later you’re going to write a book about the subject—I take that as inevitable.” And indeed, there are some heavy-hitting precedents to Pereyni’s classic of the writer-in-the-garden genre. Charles Dudley Warner’s [….]

LitStack Rec: Arranged Marriage: Stories & This Case Is Gonna Kill Me

Published on :

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, and the eleven stories in Arranged Marriage established her as a master of imagery in the short form. They also demonstrated her gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation, and the compound [….]

LitStack Recs: Speedbumps & The Human Division

Published on :

Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood, by Teri Garr Think of Teri Garr, the legendary actress turns 70 on December 11, and likely it’s as the outspoken girl next door, the slightly off-kilter girlfriend, wife, or mother—characters she played in Tootsie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Young Frankenstein. Even when Garr is playing it [….]

LitStack Rec: Commonwealth & All the Birds in the Sky

Published on :

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett Of divorce, Nicole Krauss wrote, “One of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.” That’s how ending a marriage can feel, especially for the spouse who’s left behind, an [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & War for the Oaks

Published on :

Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen “It’s a dangerous business,” writes Clark Blaise in this book’s introduction, “going into the underworld of history and ethnicity to discover one’s father, yet it seems one peculiar duty in our time of identity politics.” The observation is an apt one in which to begin Michael J. Arlen’s [….]

Litstack Recs: Anna May Wong & The Hatred of Poetry

Published on :

Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend, by Graham Russell Gao Hodges Don’t be misled by the tabloid nature of the title. Hodges’ biography is a meticulously researched and carefully constructed account of one of early cinema’s most notable icons. You could be forgiven for not knowing the work of Anna May Wong, [….]

LitStack Rec: Changing My Mind & Hunger Makes the Wolf

Published on :

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, by Zadie Smith This collection of essays came about by accident, Zadie Smith tells us in the foreword, but the voice and curiosity behind it makes this read seamless and satisfying. My hope, as a reader of essays, is to learn something, whether the topic is snow camping or religious [….]

LitStack Recs: Crash Course & Ninefox Gambit

Published on :

Crash Course: essays from where writing and life collide, by Robin Black The third book from short story writer and novelist Robin Black collects her recent essays, many of which first appeared on the great, and sadly erstwhile literary blog, Beyond the Margins. Crash Course, subtitled essays from where writing and life collide, is aptly [….]

Litstack Recs: Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in That House & A Natural History of Dragons

Published on :

Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in That House, by Meghan Daum The moral of this story might run be careful what you wish for, especially if the house you get doesn’t live up to the fantasy you’ve been harboring. For Meghan Daum, novelist, essayist, L.A. Times columnist and extreme home aficiondo, the pursuit [….]

LitStack Recs: Tinkers & View From the Cheap Seats

Published on :

Tinkers, by Paul Harding In the novels I love most, the story is ultimately about time. The span of a life. The meaning of childhood and youth. Stories, like life, are anchored in the temporal, though unlike life, novels enable us the entire span,  beginning, middle, and end. In novels, like life, time is finite, [….]