As September draws to an end, I’m planning on splitting my reading between poetry collections and feminist prose, including Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger and sam sax’s latest work.
Last week, I focused mostly on nonfiction as a way to exit a reading slump. It worked, and I’m hoping to continue my reading streak with a memoir and a work of feminist cultural history, interspersed with a couple of poetry collections. Time moves so slowly out here, though, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find the time to read at least a few other books next week, on weeknights. If anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them! The books I’m planning on reading this week are listed below:
(1.) Roxane Gay’s Hunger: Everything I’ve read online by Roxane Gay has impressed me, including her many insightful reviews on Goodreads, and Bad Feminist was one of my favorite books during undergrad. Her style of writing is crisp, clean, and striking. Not many writers can express so much in so few words, while still coming across as full of life and feeling. From what I understand, Gay’s memoir explores the ways in which the author’s body and weight have shaped her self-image over the course of her lifetime. Several people have spoken highly of this to me, and I’m looking forward to having the chance to read it this week.
(2.) Allison Yarrow’s 90s Bitch: Unlike Gay, I’ve never read anything by Yarrow, online or in print, and I’d actually not even heard of her before seeing this book pop up time and time again on my Goodreads feed. In it, Yarrow critiques what she calls “90s bitchification,” the ways in which women were “maligned by the media, vilified by popular culture, and objectified in the marketplace” during the 1990s. The premise of the book seems ambitious, addressing everything from the decade’s politics to its tv shows, and I usually really enjoy this kind of work.
(3.) Hieu Minh Nguyen’s Not Here: This is the second author on my TBR list this week whose work I’ve not yet encountered. But a friend of mine on Goodreads recommended this to me a few months ago, and I’m excited to have the time to check it out over the weekend. The book’s description frames it as “a flight plan for escape and a map for navigating home; a queer Vietnamese American body in confrontation with whiteness, trauma, family, and nostalgia; and a big beating heart of a book.” A few of Nguyen’s poems can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
(4.) sam sax’s Bury It: The poems that open sam sax’s latest collection were written in response to a series of gay suicides during the summer of 2010, and the subsequent poems further explore themes of loss, memory, and personhood. Released this month, Bury It follows sam sax’s first collection Madness, which was published last September. I’ve not read Madness, but after coming across sax’s poems on Poetry Foundation earlier in the month, his work moved me enough to want to read Bury It.
What are you currently reading, and what’s next up on your TBR list? Have you read any of these authors, and if so, what were your reactions to their work?