Monday, October 24, 2011

My Next Read- The Stranger's Child

Having a Type A personality, you're pretty much always worried you're not doing enough. So it's nice when your phd advisor says he wouldn't mind you spent the next twelve months doing no writing-- just reading. Which is  basically what Jake Polley gave me license to do today in our meeting. 

It's nice having permission to slow down, not hurry and let myself move into the rooms where I'm going to write. Just be in those spaces. And give myself as much raw material for texture as I need. I'm excited about the reading list he gave me. I'm still constantly surprised at how little overlap there is in contemporary American fiction and contemporary British fiction. How little American stuff makes it over here and how little British stuff I hear about in the States. 

I mean, the first one up on that list  JUST came out in the States less than two weeks ago: Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child. It's oddly parallel to a lot of the central questions and relationships I've got going on in my novel. It even roughly runs the same timeline. Not only that, but NY Mag compares it to The Corrections, so you know I'm going to dig a British post-World-War-One, children of artists "Henry James without the obfuscation" version of a Franzen novel. I can hardly wait to delve into it on the train ride home tonight. 

For more, click here for Guardian Review and more about the Booker Prize this year

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