Michelle Bailat-Jones

Writer, Translator, Reader

Recently some friends of mine were bemoaning what they called “The Twitter culture” and how people don’t “talk” about much anymore, and I was happy to be able to jump in and say that while I think I know what they mean in a general sense (although not sure I’d agree with it – I think it just depends on the people you’re talking to), in a specific sense I’ve got mostly only good things to say about Twitter. From my view behind Tweetdeck, there is a non-stop books/literature/poetry/writing discussion going on, and I’m privileged to be able to jump in and out whenever the mood strikes.

Yesterday I asked about book recommendations and came away with a lovely long list of books, some I’ve heard of but forgotten to acquire and read, as well as some new-to-me titles that look absolutely wonderful.

I asked for books that were, “shortish, weird, metafictional, and poetic” because I seem to have the best luck with these lately. I love the range of titles that came back, and I think it’s worth sharing the list (which includes a few books I came across when looking up some of the suggested books) and asking for additional suggestions:

  • Ban en Banlieue – Bhanu Khapil
  • Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
  • Bluets – Maggie Nelson
  • Pond – Claire Louise Bennet
  • Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum
  • Heraclitus in Sacramento – David Carl
  • The Plains – Gerald Murnane
  • Uses of Literature – Rita Felski
  • Mildew – Paulette Jonguitud
  • Karate Chop – Dorthe Nors
  • Theory of Prose – Victor Shklovsky
  • DAN – Joanna Ruocco
  • Things to Make and Break – May-Lan Tan
  • A Book of Silence – Sara Maitland
  • Dans La Pénombre – Juan Benet
  • Tu Reviendras à Région – Juan Benet
  • Suite for Barbara Loden – Nathalie Leger
  • The Laughter of the Thracian Woman – Hans Blumenberg

4 Responses to ““shortish, weird, metafictional, and poetic””

  1. Sigrun

    Intriguing, here are some books I have read – and loved, and some I’ve never ever heard of. Bluets by Maggie Nelson was my greatest read last spring, I still go back to it every now and then – to keep it close.

  2. helen

    I’m going to print out this list… I’ve come across Maggie Nelson, but not heard of any of the others.

    I’ve also heard some good things about Anne Boyer’s Garments Against Women, although I haven’t yet laid eyes on a copy.

    • Michelle

      Am having a terrible time getting copies of Maggie Nelson’s stuff – so am waiting, impatiently, to read her. I will look for Garments Against Women, I’m intrigued! Thank you, Helen.

      • helen

        Oh no, really? I’ve ordered Bluets from The Book Depository and am hoping they’ll come up trumps.

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