Post Road Magazine #14

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Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean - Nick Antosca

I read Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire in 2003 for research purposes. Later I reread it for verification purposes: I wanted to verify that it was fucking great. It was. It is....

Sisters by a River, by Barbara Comyns; The Girl from the Coast, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer (translated by Willem Samuels); and “Gusev,” by Anton Chekhov (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) - Maud Casey

Bodies of water link these three otherwise unrelated stories: the banks of the Avon River in Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, England, in Comyns’s darkly comic novel, originally serialized in the 1940s by Lilliput magazine with the title “The Novel Nobody Will Publish”...

Lynne Tillman’s No Lease on Life - Lisa Dierbeck

Lynne Tillman’s new novel arrived in bookstores at the end of October from my favorite renegade press, Soft Skull. This is cause for celebration for two reasons. One, Soft Skull and Tillman are a marriage made in heaven. Soft Skull endeared itself to me, personally, by being crazy enough to print a perverse novella I wrote about my stint as Lucifer’s sex slave...

J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan - Mary Gaitskill

I recommend J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to anyone who has only seen the Disney version, or no version at all. I recommend it as a book about enchantment and cruelty in very matter-of-fact language; I also recommend it as a book about mortality and gentleness in the face of mortality. ....

Kurt Vonnegut - Sheila Heti

My friend Misha Glouberman, who is one of the smartest people I know, yet who never reads literature and knows nothing about world politics, and who has in his apartment only self-help books like Loving in Flow and feels no shame about this—he admitted to me this morning, when I went to his place to borrow his girlfriend’s copy of Bluebeard, that though he doesn’t like literature, he has always liked Kurt Vonnegut but is kind of ashamed to admit it....

Donald Antrims's The Afterlife - Laurie Foos

How do we recommend a book that’s haunted us? Do we simply say, “Go out and buy this book. It haunted me,” as if we are assuming that the act of being haunted is, in fact, a good thing? I’vemulled this over again and again each time I’ve recommended Donald Antrim’s memoir, The Afterlife, and yet this is what I come up with every time: Go and buy this book. It haunted me....

Light While There Is Light by Keith Waldrop - Christopher Sorrentino

Keith Waldrop’s Light While There Is Light appeared in 1993, around the beginning of the memoir craze that engaged the public and, ultimately, consumed the publishing industry in an orgy of enormous advances to, and unpublishable confessions from, intriguingly broken souls across the nation ...

Trance by Christopher Sorrentino - Dana Spiotta

I didn’t get around to reading Christopher Sorrentino’s Trance until this summer. I am very impressed ...

Eva Moves the Furniture by Margot Livesey - Cynthia Thayer

Reading has been my passion since childhood. I remember turning the pages of my favorite book of all time, Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf—a story about a boy who learns to play impossibly enormous bagpipes—pretending to read the words, which I had memorized, to my father...

An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd - Ayelet Waldman

Seven or eight years ago I was standing in front of the fiction table at Cody’s, my local bookstore, which has now sadly succumbed to the economic realities of an Amazon–Barnes and Noble universe. I was combing through the new fiction, trying to find something I hadn’t read. I am a compulsive reader. I read everything. Everything fiction, that is...

Dirt Music by Tim Winton - Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop

Set against the stunning backdrop of Western Australia, Dirt Music tells the converging stories of Georgie Jutland and Luther Fox. Georgie is a relative newcomer to the small, rugged fishing town of White Point, a community whose members are oftentimes unruly, secretive, and brutal ...

The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante - Ann Wood

It’s one of those books—the author’s first—that wasn’t published until decades after his other works. Although the same thing would happen to Hunter S. Thompson’s novel The Rum Diary, which was published after the fear and loathing sagas made him famous, John Fante would have no such luck. The manuscript for A Road to Los Angeles was found when Fante’s wife, Joyce, was going through his papers after his death in May of 1983—amazing because it is, in this writer’s opinion, Fante’s smartest, funniest book. It is also the novel that meant to introduce the world to Arturo Bandini, Fante’s alter ego who also appears in Wait Until Spring, Bandini; Ask the Dusk, which is his most popular book and was recently adapted into an overly melodramatic film; and Dreams from Bunker Hill...

 

 

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