Soon after returning from AWP, I had a tonsillectomy, which is said to be much more painful for adults than children. That may be the understatement of my life.But it is a week later, and I am re-entering the world.
I thought I would have all this recovery time to read the books I bought at AWP – three tote bags brimming with books of unbroken spines. Alas, that is difficult to do when drugged up and sleeping 20 out of every 24 hours.
But now with my energy back, I have finally unpacked tote bag #1, the most exciting bag of them all.
While I went to AWP all a-twitter to meet Junot Diaz and Jhumpa Lahiri, what was actually the best part of the conference was meeting new writers, buying their books, and feeling genuine awe as they signed their works of passion for me.
My reading pile for the next few months. I implore you to check out these great voices:
- Kim Church, her story Victuals appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly. I read this last night. Wow. I kept checking to make sure this was fiction because it felt like it was happening right then, right to me.
- Kelcey Parker, For Sale by Owner, collection of stories published by Kore Press. Read the first story on the first night of AWP. I was so caught up in the rhythm and humor of the story that a plot twist blindsided me so emotionally that I haven’t quite gathered the courage to pick up the book again.
- Jason Ockert, Rabbit Punches, collection of stories published by Low Fidelity Press. Read the first story in the collection. Like a punch to the stomach. In a good way.
- Michael Kardos, One Last Good Time, collection of stories published by Press 53
- John Cotter, Under the Small Lights, novella published by Miami (OH) University Press
- Michele Young-Stone, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, novel published by Crown
- Laura van den Berg, What the World Will Look Like When all the Water Leaves Us, collection of stories published by Dzanc Books
- David Philip Mullins, Greetings from Below, collection of stories published by Sarabande Books
- Mary Akers, Women Up On Blocks, collection of stories published by Press 53
I also bought two books about writing:
- Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer’s Workshop, from the publisher of Milkweed Editions
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I actually bought this book the evening before AWP began at a bookstore near my hotel and he is far from a new writer, but it sounds like a great read!
So this bag will obviously take a while to get through. What a lovely problem to have!