In our weekend reading: an interview with Robert Lopez, revisiting a Jeanette Winterson novel, and more.
Well, it’s March. Seasonal adjustments and clock adjustments, all in the same month. And hey, there are some books due out this month, too! We’ve got our eye on a few new titles in translation, along with some new books on indie presses we like by writers we like. Maybe one of these books will change the way you see the world this month.
Afternoon Bites: Lauren Hilger on Poetry, Experimental Fiction Revisited, Robert Lopez’s Fiction, and More
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Lauren Hilger, thoughts on Robert Lopez’s new book, and more.
Morning Bites: Robert Lopez Fiction, Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman on Film, Alison Cotton’s Latest, and More
In our morning reading: fiction by Robert Lopez, an interview with Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe, and more.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Robert Lopez, thoughts on Kim Fu’s fiction, and more.
Robert Lopez’s latest novel-in-stories reads like a stream of conscious search for hope. A Better Class of People connects back with some of his characters from Good People from 2015, and the trilogy will be concluded with The Best People in 2024. All of the stories are first person narratives, told by a singular alienated narrator. The voice throughout A Better Class of People is hypnotic and rhythmic and often unreliable. Lopez has said that sound and energy are keys to his writing process. That’s where it all starts for him. And, you can hear the effect of this in every story of this collection. We’re on a ride with an impulsive voice and it’s uncertain where we’re going or where we’ve been here. Every other story is a subway interlude—you see this reflected by a train symbol above the table of contents. At times, the book is darkly funny and sometimes downright disturbing and tragic. There are even times the storyteller is potentially dangerous; he might or might not have a gun and often considers “shooting someone in the face.” Overall, the sound of the voice, like the electric currents of the subway, creates drama, intrigue, danger, and tension, and it pulls the reader through a strange, dystopian world that is both fascinating and unforgettable.
And now, somehow, it’s March. We’re not sure how that happened, either. Nevertheless, it is the case, even as the weather decides to vacillate between “bitter cold” and “maybe picnic weather?” It’s a strange time. Our recommended books for the month also cover a lot of ground, from insightful looks into the art of writing to immersive forays into surreal landscapes. Read on for what we’re looking forward to this month.
In our afternoon reading: an excerpt from Jenny Hval’s latest novel, new writing from Robert Lopez, and more.