Early this month I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I’m reading a few different things right now. First up is Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos. I’ve started working on a new novel that takes place partly in Manhattan, and while I’m familiar with the town, I’m not intimate with it, and I thought reading MT might knock something loose for me. It hasn’t yet, but I’m enjoying the read very much. It’s a hands on kind of story -- tactile and vividly descriptive.Visit Patrick deWitt's website.
Next is Dennis Cooper’s to-be released The Marbled Swarm. The narrator is the 22-year-old illegitimate son of French actor/director Pierre Clementi. Also he’s a billionaire. And a murderer. And a cannibal. And he’s really funny and charming. I’ve just got started on this one, but I’m loving it; the language is a knockout, and represents a big departure for Cooper in that it’s wordy and ornate, a bold shift from his more pared back earlier novels.
Last, I’m reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I saw an old copy in the dollar bin of the local book store and brought it home to my six year old. This is his first non-picture book, and he was wary: “Where’s the pictures?” “You listen to the words and then the pictures come into your head.” “They do?” He was frustrated by this at the start, but we’ve fallen into a routine of reading two chapters a night, by the second night he was all in.