Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Tag: Nina Bouraoui

Books books books

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A periodical inquired about the books I’m reading and this was my reply:

I couldn’t be any author’s ideal. I read around. I can’t borrow books from the library because deadlines are too linear. I read ten or more books at a time, a book soup that simmers forever. I always think that I don’t read much, but I read constantly, just not in the way I’d like to, finishing one title and moving along to the next. When I look at what I’m reading now, it’s:

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson—I love her frankness; I love her smarts

My Mother: Demonology by Kathy Acker—Yag. They should publish this wallet sized

Marry and Burn by Rachel Rose—this country has fine poets. Damn

Tomboy by Nina Bouraoui–this choice because she’s translated into English here (by Marjorie Attignol Salvodon and Jehanne-Marie Gavarini) although I prefer her in French and should persevere despite my lousy language skills

A Primate’s Memoir by Robert M Sapolsky—lots to deplore here about colonialism etc but I admire his language skills

How Animals Grieve by Barbara J King—I don’t think research on animal sentience could ever move speedily enough for my liking, but sound data on grieving is good to have

Holy Mōlī by Hob Osterlund—the compelling story of Hawaii’s albatross

Myrmurs by Shannon Maguire—surely one of our best and brightest poets

Peggy Guggenheim by Francine Prose—say no more. Francine is good

Mother and Child by Caroline Maso—ahhh, stylistically mind blowing, of course

The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis—a daughter kills her mother’s pet birds (! In so many accidental ways) and goes off to rescue pelicans

I have another stack on the go in the bedroom, but I hesitate to add more to this. Suffice to say that every day I’m humbled by my own meagre skills, as well as gratified and indebted to the numbers of brilliant writers generously available to enrich my experience.

For fun, here is one of maybe 5 stacks to get to (athough I notice there are a few I’ve recently read in there like The Mercy Journals and Lydia Kwa. I do try to shelve the read ones, ordinarily):

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Because we love your work and we thank you…

A lot of people included only men on a best-of-writers list going around FB, so other folks mentioned these women/genderqueer and trans folk as their recommended/favourite/influential writers. (There are some repeats.)

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Annie Dillard, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Mary Oliver, Jamaica Kincaid, Rebecca Solnit, Terry Tempest Williams, Alice Walker, Olga Broumas, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Hurston, Eden Robinson, Louise Erdrich, Alice Munro, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Lee Maracle, Toni Morrison, Stephanie Bolster, Mavis Gallant, Joyce Carol Oates, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joy Kogawa, Elyse Gasco, Charlotte Bronte, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Sylvia Plath, Miriam Toews, Vendela Vida, Maya Angelou, Danzy Senna, Han Nolan, Nancy Gardner, Maira Kalman, Anchee Min, Louise Fitzhugh, Bett Williams, Laurie Colwin, Jane Bowles, Colette, Sappho, Marilyn Hacker, Heather O’Neill, Eliza Robertson, Marianne Boruch, Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Alice B Toklas, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Tracy Smith, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Virginia Woolf, Louise Labe, Marguerite Yourcenar, Olga Broumas, Jeanette Winterson, Moniq Witting, June Jordan, Fleda Brown, Irene McPherson, Virginia C. Gable, Alice Walker, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kate Gray, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Joy Harjo, Zsuzsanna Budapest,Toni Morrison, Monica Drake, Leslie Marmon Silko, Alice Walker, L.M. Montgomery, Alice Munro, Dionne Brand, Joy Kogawa, Sharon Olds, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Hay, Adrienne Rich, Isabel Allende, Marge Piercy, Sappho, Anais Nin, Simone de Beauvoir, Nina Bouraoui, Nicole Brossard, Kathy Acker, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Jeanette Winterson, Zoe Whittall, Marnie Woodrow, Marilyn Hacker, Lydia Kwa, Gertrude Stein, Olga Broumas, Monique Wittig, Marguerite Duras, Joy Kogawa, Jamaica Kinkaid, Lidia Yuknavitch, Maxine Hong Kingston, Beryl Markham, Jane Smiley, Alice Walker, Ntokake Shange, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Katherine Dunn, Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, Toni Morrison, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Jamacia Kinkaid, Amy Tan, Rebecca Skloot, Amanda Coplin, Miriam Towes, Rene Denfield, Louise Erdrich, Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Gordon, Annie Dillard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ann Patchett, Sharon Olds, Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, Amber Dawn, Eden Robinson, Warsan Shire, Annie Proulx, Ntozake Shange, Mary Gaitskill, Shirley Jackson, Eudora Welty, Gish Jen, Ann Beattie, Flannery O’Connor, Shani Mootoo, Tillie Olsen, Miriam Toews, Lorrie Moore, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Nathanaël, Sappho, Anna Kavan, Sylvia Plath, Myung Mi Kim, Bessie Head, Caroline Bergvall, Anne Carson, Lisa Robertson, Liz Howard, Soraya Peerbaye, Jean Rhys, Clarice Lispector, Nella Larsen, Brecken Hancock, Audre Lorde, Emily Brontë, Natalee Caple, Natalie Simpson, Larissa Lai, Gertrude Stein, Unica Zurn, Sarah Waters, Maureen Hynes, Andrea Routley, Jane Byers, Tina Biella, Wendy Donowa, Emma donaghue, Rita Wong, Ali Blythe, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Betsy Warland, Daphne Marlatt, Persimmon Blackbridge, Gabriella Golager, Dionne Brand, Chrystos, Lee Maracle, Robyn Stevenson, Monique Grey Smith, June Arnold

We’ve left out far more stellar writers than we’ve included. I love that there are a few I haven’t heard of/many I haven’t read. I also love that if I could read no one else but the above-mentioned for the rest of my life, I’d be in superbly talented/skilled hands.

Thanks to: Sami Grey, Susan Briscoe, RF Redux, Ann Ireland, Celeste Gurevich, Cate Gable, Lisa Richter, Ellen K. Antonelli, Rene Denfield, Nikki Sheppy, Arleen Paré

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