If you don’t read, love to read, read widely and voraciously, I don’t believe you can be a writer, not of fiction anyway. Why else would you want to write fiction if you’re not in love with books? One of the best parts of going through an MFA program, for me, is encountering a wide variety of new books and authors to read.
This will be a new weekly feature, based on some of my friends’ blogs.
What I’m Reading
- Christendom and Christianity in the Middle Ages by Adriaan H. Bredero for research
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which is excellent, but I seem to be reading it slowly. It takes a bit too much concentration to read before bed, which is when I do my reading that is purely for fun.
- Drown by Junot Diaz, recommended by some students in my MFA program when I asked for non-white short story writers
- The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis–she is faculty at the NYU MFA program and her master classes have been very inspirational for me. I admire how she pushes and changes the short story genre.
What I Just Finished
- The Medieaval Universities by Nathan Schachner–it’s always curious reading a history book that was written in the past. This was written in 1938, and compares the plight of foreigners in medieval towns to that of Jews in Germany, which, as an American in 1938, he could not have known how bad it would get. It was also informative about medieval universities, which were far more powerful than universities are today.
- Religion for Atheists