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27 Jun 2005

Reading List.

Written by sally @ 10:18 am — Section: sally

What I’ve been reading lately.

I’m still s-l-o-w-l-y getting through Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America. The stories are so…thick and heavy and lovely that I have to space them out. They’re like rich food: you can only eat a little at a time.

I’ve also been reading a bunch of writers-writing-about-writing books. A few weeks ago I read Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners; before that I read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. And last week I read Ellen Gilchrist’s The Writing Life.

Let me say this about Ellen Gilchrist: I love Ellen Gilchrist. I have all her books (ok, except Anabasis, because that one sucks), and I even wrote her a fan letter 15 years ago (and framed her response). But after reading The Writing Life, I so do not want to know her in real life.

While Gilchrist’s character Rhoda Manning has many of the same traits as she does, in fiction they are charming and hilarious. In real life they are the traits of an asshole. Plus, I regret to inform anyone else who likes her that she is a Republican. I almost couldn’t read the rest of the book after I came to that part.

This weekend I started Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days. Read the first chapter here. Warning: so far it is sort of, uh, not good. While I’m going to keep at it, at least for a little while, I’m not sure how much Walt Whitman lurking in the corner I can stomach.

5 Responses to “Reading List.”

  1. The Diplomat said:

    Ellen Gilchrist is a keeper of angry, spiteful birds. I do not say this metaphorically. They live freely in her house and swoop down and attack visitors with such a determined and malicious ferocity that said visitor can only assume that she’s been targeted for some past transgression that is better left unmentioned and closeted. But the birds know. The Wicca call would say that these birds are somehow Visionary, that they are gifted with the ability to see spirits and souls. The Wicca use the term “Skyclad” to describe practicing magick ritual in the nude.

  2. gorjus said:

    And on that note, I sure do wish we could have had a tortured affair oh, say twenty years ago.

    Um, but not me being 10 years old, and not with the Diplomat. I mean, with a 40-year old Ellen Gilchrist. Um.

  3. sally said:

    FYI, she was born in 1935, which makes her 70 this year. The woman is old. And, apparently, a keeper of angry, spiteful birds.

  4. gorjus said:

    Hmm. Yah, I could handle her at 50. Or forty. Thirty, though? I’ve read about her at 30. And I’m scared.

  5. dtrane said:

    Does everyone know about Bookworm on KCRW? Writers on writing n all. Michael Silverblatt sounds Ugarte in Casablanca. http://www.kcrw.com/cgi-bin/db/kcrw.pl