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What We’re Reading
Michelle Wildgen (Executive Editor, Tin House magazine): I loved John Lanchester’s Capital—at least half a dozen storylines, so lightly and skillfully handled. And just finished Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which felt like part comedy of manners, part Seattle hippie takedown, and part fairy tale about a girl who seeks her lost mother.
Tony Perez (Editor, Tin House Books): I’m just starting Peter Mountford’s A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (sadly, my Russian isn’t up to snuff, so I’m unable to read the pirated translation). It’s impressive to see someone taking on big ideas–global politics and international finance–without distancing the reader from the emotional lives of the characters.
Meg Storey (Editor, Tin House Books): I just finished Nam Le’s collection, The Boat, which takes the reader from Iowa to Cartagena to Tehran. The range of the stories is almost as breathtaking as the prose.
I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth McCracken and loved her story “A Dream of Being Sufficient” in the most recent Zoetrope. And the photographs chosen by the issue’s guest designer, Abbas Kiarostami, are stunning.
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Editorial Assistant, Tin House magazine): In the spirit of the season, I’m reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time. Its blatant orientalist rhetoric does not age well, but the vamp himself is as scary as ever. Why haven’t the movies latched onto the freakish detail of hair on the palms of his hands? And in observance of October’s other holiday, Sylvia Plath’s birthday, I’m making a ritual trek through her journals, all 700 supersaturated pages of them. Even in this most candid writing, Plath’s words are white hot, her critical eye leveled with exacting brilliance at those around her and, more often, herself.
Lance Cleland (Director, Tin House Writer’s Workshop): A change in the season always brings with it a different theme on my nightstand, with the current stack of books next to my bed all concerning wartime espionage. Laurent Binet’s wonderfully subversive HHhH, which centers around the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, is what ignited my latest reading obsession. The book, which is a cocktail of historical truth, fictional speculation, and personal memory, reads like a late night conversation between Le Carré and Sebald, with both men given ample space to speak on their fascinations. It is one of the better books I have read this year.