Earlier this month I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I think readers forget this, but in the first six months after a writer publishes their book, s/he is “reading” that novel. It becomes a very strange experience, a kind of practiced striptease duo. I suspect it’s not unlike a singer on concert tour. How many times has Lady Gaga sung “Bad Romance” in the past year? What do those lyrics mean to her now? What did they mean to her when she first sang them? I am currently asking myself these questions. But rather than discussing what I’m reading now, what if I mention the book everyone should be excited about in the Spring? I’ve got a little advance/inside info on it because I “blurbed” the book. It’s a collection of short stories by Adam McOmber, and it’s called This New and Poisonous Air (BOA Editions). The publisher is known for its poetry titles, but also comes out with just two fiction titles a year in a highly selective process. For readers tired of safe and /or conventional literary fiction, McOmber delivers an exceptional collection of short stories. Among these is a story that should make his career. It’s called “A Memory of His Rising,” and it’s the loveliest, strangest, most sincere love story I’ve every read. I’d love to be in a room of liberals and conservatives reading it together.Visit Brian Leung's website.
Exley is on my bedstand, and I want to reread I Hotel, this latter book which I read over the summer and loved, but read too quickly because I was meeting the author. And then, as an ongoing project, my father has gifted me with the massive classic Chinese novel Outlaws of the Marsh. But if anyone’s taking hints from my list, put McOmber’s book at the top.