LitStack Recs: A Time of Gifts & Wolf in White Van

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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople, by Patrick Leigh Fermor A classic of the travel memoir genre, A Time of Gifts is Patrick Leigh Fermor’s account of his trek by foot from the Netherlands to Turkey in 1933-34. Though, famously, Fermor didn’t actually write the book until decades later. Published in 1977, the [….]

LitStack Recs: Women in Their Beds & Luna: New Moon

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Women in Their Beds — Gina Berriault To cap off #ShortStoryMonth, my rec this week revisits a collection by one of my favorite story writers, Gina Berriault. Her admirers span Richard Ford, Grace Paley, and Robert Stone, but American fiction writer Berriault may be one of most revered writers you’ve never heard of. Cynthia Ozick [….]

Litstack Recs: The Refugees & All the Light We Cannot See

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The Refugees: Stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen In celebration of #ShortStoryMonth, this week’s rec looks at another great story collection I’ve read and recommended this year. Fans of The Sympathizer, Nguyen’s debut novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, will find much of what they loved in the author’s second book of short stories. [….]

LitStack Rec: The Empty Family & Company Town

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The Empty Family, by Colm Tóibín  For #ShortStoryMonth, I’m recapping some favorite story collections—and chief among the story writers I admire is Colm Tóibín. And his 2011 collection, The Empty Family is one I always keep close by, dipping into the pages to take in the voices of its starkly vivid narrators. Tóibín’s stories mine [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & Borderline

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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: Patrimony & Biggie

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Patrimony: A True Story, by Philip Roth Roth’s 1991 memoir charts the illness and death of his father, Herman Roth, from an inoperable brain tumor, as it retraces the man’s life and the relationship between father and son. Roth’s account unfolds in his trademark penetrating and melancholy style, and in a decidedly un-Rothian way, offers [….]

LitStack Recs: Green Thoughts & Nightwise

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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: Manhood for Amateurs & The Last Good Man

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Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, essays by Michael Chabon You know a book on fatherhood is going to be interesting when the title includes the word amateurs. The trope of fatherly wisdom, borne of experience and dispensed with measured calm, is a wonderful thing, but how realistic [….]

LitStack Rec – The Marriage Plot & Leviathan Wakes

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The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides “Heartbreak is funny to everyone but the heartbroken.” That ironic reflection comes early the Jeffrey Eugenides’ lively 2011 novel. The observation is made by Madeleine Hanna, one of three central characters, all of whom are students at Brown University. We meet them on the morning of graduation in 1982, [….]