Post Road Magazine #8

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An American Memory and I Am Zoe Handke by Eric Larsen -Virginia Holman

In 1988 and again in 1992, Eric Larsen published two of the most exquisitely rendered novels I have ever read: An American Memory and I Am Zoe Handke. The novels are surely most appreciated together, though each book has a voice and a story that resonates alone •

Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint Exupéry -Pete Hausler

Best known for his classic children's book The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was also an accomplished novelist and memoirist. In fact, it could be argued that he was far more competent at writing than at the subject of most of his books: piloting airplanes. For a dozen-plus years ...more

Parts & Pieces: Sven Birkerts, A. Manette Ansay, Steve Stern, Christopher Tilghman, Elinor Lipman and Amy Hempel -Risa Miller

I actually freeze when someone asks me to recommend a book; I read like a writer and reading has gotten to feel so much like work that it's hard to read for pleasure and I'm always looking for reading palliatives, something that will give me a brain massage. I also follow the impulse of a certain yentakeit •

Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight by William Langewiesche and Stick and Rudder: An Explanation on the Art of Flying by Wolfgang Langewiesche -Maria Flook

I have had the pleasure of reading some nonfiction books by fathers and sons, and two of these father/son teams have had a resonating effect on my life as both reader and writer. Norman Maclean's tense and lyric masterpiece, Young Men and Fire •

Headless by Benjamin Weissman -Amy Gerstler

Hello, you who may be reading this while munching a pastrami on rye dripping with thousand island dressing. I too am a reading glutton. Like you, perhaps, I am almost always thinking about what I want to read, what I have read that was inspiring and/or puzzling •

Heed the Thunder by Jim Thompson -Neal Pollack

People often ask me about my favorite novel, and I tell them about Heed The Thunder, both because it really is my favorite novel and because I'm almost certain that they've never read it or even looked at it twice at the bookstore. Readers know Thompson for his short, terse, funny crime novels •

Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather -Mary Morris

I came to Willa Cather late. It was odd that she escaped me because as a girl and young woman I read books that grew out of my love of the heartland where I am from. I read Twain, Dreiser, and, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder, but never Cather. In a sense I believe that books come to us at the right time ...more

Some Things About Kevin Brockmeier -Thisbe Nissen

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of a brilliant story collection, Things That Fall From The Sky; a heartbreakingly beautiful novel, The Truth About Celia; and a children's novel called City of Names ...more

Truman Capote, Richard Ford and John Irving -Lewis Robinson

1. A Capote Reader
When he wrote In Cold Blood (which is not included in this collection) it was clear that Truman Capote was answering a challenge. What's equally clear: he delivered. It's a virtuoso performance, a book about killers written, it seems, by one with fresh blood on his hands •

Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr and Of Kinkajous, Capybaras, Horned Beetles, Seledangs, and the Oddest and Most Wonderful Mammals, Insects, Birds, and Plants of Our World by Jeanne K. Hanson and Deane Morrison -Gwendolen Gross

These two books do not go together. But of course, in some ways, they do. I've always been fond of odd associations: when I lived in San Francisco, my neighbors on hilly Valley Street constructed wild winter wonderland displays amidst their cacti-strewn, no-water landscaping, precipitous chunk of yard ...more

Words—Lean, Lyrical, Authentic—Bring Children From Shadows -Rachel Solar-Tuttle

This is the summer of children. In my mind's eye, I see them all the time. Children walking with backpacks on dusty roads. Hitching rides. A young man alone on a mailbox watching the world. Tiny bundles handed to social workers, their birth mothers in tears. Children fiercely playing grown-up •

Stories in the Worst Way by Gary Lutz -David Ryan

Knopf's original hardback cover of Gary Lutz's debut collection, Stories in the Worst Way—reprinted last year by 3rd bed —displayed three small Chinese condiment containers raised in fantastically plastic, shiny relief. What was inside the book is less describable •

Morvern Callar by Alan Warner -Jaime Clarke

That this book is almost ten years old now comes as a bit of a shock to me, such is its imprint in my mind—both as a reader and as a writer. Every writer (and every reader, too) marks his or her understanding of fiction with those touchstone texts that moves us along •

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