How does language speak truth to power? More specifically, how can language be used to rebel against power? The protagonists of Katherine Dunn’s three novels — 1969’s Attic, 1971’s Truck, and 1989’s Geek Love — are all positioned on the outskirts of society, sometimes by choice and sometimes not. (Dunn also wrote extensively about boxing: her 2009 book One Ring Circus collected her nonfiction about the sport, and her unfinished novel The Cut Man bears a title that alludes to the sport.) At the time of her death in 2016, Geek Love had been a cult classic for decades. In a lengthy article exploring its influence for Wired, Caitlin Roper called it “a dazzling oddball masterpiece.” She’s not wrong. It’s a novel that was nominated for both the National Book Award and the Bram Stoker Award, and that juxtaposition speaks volumes about Dunn’s aesthetic even if you haven’t read a word she’s written.
What literary delights does March bring? A number of books we’ve been awaiting eagerly for years, for one thing, including new works by Mitchell S. Jackson and Seth Fried. A host of ambitious literary debuts as well — and a number of collections of short fiction that push at the limits of storytelling. Here’s a look at some of the March books we’re looking forward to the most.
In our morning reading: interviews with Brian Evenson and Jez Burrows, nonfiction by Alexander Chee, and more.
In our afternoon reading: an excerpt from Juliet Escoria’s new book, new nonfiction from Molly Crabapple and Dave Tompkins, and much more.
In our morning reading: an interview with Garth Greenwell, new writing from Eric Boyd and Kristine Ong Muslim, and more.
In our morning reading: remembering the life and work of Katherine Dunn, an interview with Pamela Erens, new writing from Kevin Nguyen, and more.
In our afternoon reading: Leslie Jamison and Catherine Lacey in conversation, a new issue of Storychord, Joseph Riippi on Sarah Manguso, “Geek Love” at 25, and more.
A look at the lasting relevance of Moby-Dick, interviews with Mecca Normal and Evan Osnos, notes on Thrown and GB84, and more.