Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wrapped Tightly

Caroline Hwang

My Imaginary Friend in Las Vegas turned me on to Hwang, who mixes drawing and painting and sewing to create these sweet patchwork pieces. You can see more of her work here, here, and here.

Ok, because the Cavalier of Odds asked me, I made a list of 25 American authors, and one or two of their books published in the last 25 years, which I believe could’ve/should’ve replaced many of the decisions in that NYT list. I obviously don't mean, in anyway, to imply that Toni Morrison doesn't deserve to be recognized for her contribution to literature; I respect her, and I like what she does - particularly the way she uses elements of magical realism in her work. I just wanted to address the redundancies: Roth, DeLillo, Roth, DeLillo, Roth, Roth, throw in John Updike and you've got a list of the most ubiquitous titles in the history of time. They're good, but they're played out. Besides DeLillo, they're boring, safe picks - I'm not saying the books themselves are boring, but as selections to represent "the best" of the last 25 years they're too...paint-by-numbers. Too rote. Why not select a more unique, eclectic group of novels? Why not choose things that aren’t so pervasive? Turn people on to the best, not just the widely covered. Doesn't that make more sense?

(in absolutely no order)

Octavia Butler - Parable of the Sower; Fledgling
Sandra Cisneros - The House on Mango Street
Ander Monson - Other Electricities
Donald Barthelme - Paradise; 60 Stories
Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho; The Rules of Attraction
Jay McInerney - Bright Lights, Big City
Louise Erdrich - Love Medicine; Tracks
Samuel Delany - Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Gilbert Sorrentino - Aberration of Starlight
Stephen Dixon - Long Made Short
Robert Coover - Gerald’s Party; The Public Burning
Kathy Acker - Blood and Guts in High School; Don Quixote
William Gibson - Neuromancer
Kelly Link - Stranger Things Happen
Richard Powers - The Gold Bug Variations
Tom Robbins - Jitterbug Perfume
Ben Marcus - The Age of Wire and String
Kurt Vonnegut - Deadeye Dick
Ursula K. Le Guin - Worlds of Exile and Illusion
John Edgar Wideman - Sent for You Yesterday
Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy
Shelley Jackson - Melancholy of Anatomy
Gary Lutz - Stories in the Worst Way
Lydia Davis - The End of the Story
John Hawkes - Adventures in the Alaskan Skin Trade