Citizen by Claudia Rankine
MFA vs. NYC by various
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
a shit ton. I can't get myself out of my chair to list them all.
I had a great books post planned for March, where I talked all about the amazing insights on racism from Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and then I worked every day in April, and then I finally went to gather my books and realized that I literally cannot find Citizen, which was kind of the lynchpin of my month in reading. Now, I know that I'm messy, but I actually keep very good track of my books so this is odd and embarrassing, much like the rest of my life right now.
Citizen was a truly incredible book, an inspiration in mixed genre, a stark look at the ways in which everyday racism exists in our country. I think that everyone should read it, which I don't usually say because my tastes are pretty highbrow and esoteric for taking any claims on this 'everyone' thing. But Citizen is an exception, because it's great art but also accessible art that takes an issue that is so incredibly vital to the nation and delivers it in digestible well formed thoughts. Read it.
As I write this, I find that even the two books I can find, I don't really have any desire to go grab and take notes from onto here as I usually do. MFA vs. NYC because I have already decided that I am going to move to New York and to take notes on it in a books post feels cross referency and superfluous in ways that I don't care about. And Shopgirl was great, but to make a long story into a sentence, it was given to me by a lady in my now defunct writing group which depresses me because it was one of the only things I liked about my life, and the story itself hit too close to home in several ways, one of which I will half assedly quote from memory and it should explain.
“Slowly it began to damage Mirabelle, that he took from her only the parts that he wanted and not all of her.”
I love books by the editors of n + 1, and I thank them for helping me in my decision to move to New York, although it wasn't really that book at all, it was more my life here imploding in on me, leaving me with an obvious option that I kind of always wanted but was trying to pretend I didn't want in an effort to make my life here work. And Steve Martin is a surprisingly great writer, but next time someone says that writing on the life of a working class girl is overdone or boring, I'm going to say If Steve Martin, a famous white man, can do it, why can't I, an actual literal working class girl?