Need something to read this Memorial Day weekend? Here’s what Soho Press has goin’ on:
1.) I’m reading Stephen Dixon’s Phone Rings, which will be the second fictional account of grief that I’ve read in as many months. In typical Dixon style, so many things happen or don’t happen or happen differently that maybe nothing happens, really. A phone rings, and it’s the narrator’s nephew calling to tell him that his father, the narrators brother, has died. In some cases he picks up. In others the phone is too far to reach. In some his wife answers. Each potentiality leads him into a memory of his brother so seamlessly that it’s almost imperceptible at times. As close to quantum physics as literary fiction can get.
-Rudy Martinez, Marketeer
2.) 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Hot damn, it’s good. Terrifying and very, very original. Let’s be real. In genre fiction originality is always surprising. We love it, but a lot of it is the same story. Not this one.
-Meredith Barnes, Publicist
3.) Just listened to Point Omega by Don Delillo on audiobook (narrated by the great Campbell Scott). Skeletal, philosophical book, set in the Arizona desert and at a MOMA art installation in which a huge projection of Psycho is slowed down to play over the course of 24 hours. The prose is stunningly good, the ideas are complex and challenging—loved it.
About a third of the way through the new Franzen essays collection. Thus far plenty of skepticism about Internet and smart phones, and lots of love for songbirds. I’m really enjoying. I hadn’t read his much-talked-about New Yorker essay in which he discusses, among other topics, Robinson Crusoe, boredom, and scattering a matchbook of David Foster Wallace’s ashes on a remote island in the South Pacific—but reading it now, not sure why it got some of the backlash it did (I’m remembering correctly when I say backlash, right?). I found it moving and insightful.
-Mark Doten, Editor
4.) Reading Nine Months, questioning reproduction, craving spontaneity. Bomer’s catapulting prose makes it hard not to read in one breath.
-Simona Blat, Editorial Assistant
5.) I’m reading Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, edited by Justine Larbalestier. It’s a survey of women in science fiction from the beginning of the genre in the 1920s to about 2000. Each sf story is paired with a critical essay, discussing the feminist viewpoints and cultural motivations involved. I just finished Created He Them by Alice Eleanor Jones and was simultaneously thrilled and thoroughly creeped out by its post-nuclear-war, 1950s-esque implications. Don’t you just love those kind of stories?
-Katie Hoffman, Editorial Assistant
6.) Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley—his first Easy Rawlins book. Easy’s a great noir series “amateur sleuth”—he’s a regular guy who turns to detective work via incidental outside pressures and finds he has a knack for it. Set vividly in LA in 1948, with just enough of a political undercurrent to make it even more awesome.
-Juliet Grames, Senior Editor