Reading Addict

Post-Freedom Reads by Nick

I should preface my messy observations by conceding that yes, I understand authors have been tackling messy, burdened marriages as subjects for some time, perhaps even a number of years before Franzen’s Freedom gave every happy couple a microscope and tweezers to dissect their supposed happiness and civility. To the many predecessors, to all who’ve written about a messy relationship in a Pre-Franzen world, I mean no disrespect, but your blip on my radar was just too remote for me to explore.

Literature of Place

I recently heard Rilla Askew speak, and she eloquently described the influence that Oklahoma has on her writing. Eschewing classification as a regional author, she insists that Oklahoma, the place, allows her to explore American issues and ideas. Oklahoma seems to function as a character in her novels. Just read these opening lines from The Mercy Seat: “There are voices in the earth, telling truth in old stories.

Graphic Novel Roundup by Nick

The past couple years have been great for the graphic novel. The genre is ripe for young artists willing to experiment, to push boundaries, to mold the tradition into their own vision. With continued exposure and recognition from ‘old guard’ traditionalists, 2012 promises to be another stellar year for the graphic novel and comic serial. Here’s a look ahead.

Perfectly Normal by Rebecca

Families. They’re an unrelenting source of literary inspiration—full of conflict, misunderstandings, moments of grace, epiphanies, silences, fractures. Families pull and push us; form and reform us. Family relationships are usually at the heart of my favorite novels, and these relationships tend to be a bit messy. After all, unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways (my paraphrase).

For All the Saints by Rebecca

It could be said that Eleanor Henderson’s debut novel Ten Thousand Saints is about ten thousand different things—addiction, adoption, family, hedonism, asceticism, AIDS, poverty, and homelessness—to name a few. A brief synopsis cannot really describe the sensory-overload of this tightly-packed 400 page novel.

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