Friday, June 6, 2008

Joshua Clark

Joshua Clark is the author of Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in its Disaster Zone, a 2007 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award.

Last week, I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I feel so guilty because I get asked by the National Book Critics Circle to contribute to their blog about my favorite new books and here I am re-reading the Odyssey. Just finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz too. What a nearly perfect book! Incredible. And of course it's the Odyssey for children. I also recently read, for the first time, Life of Pi. Someone needs to write a fabulous long essay about the trinity that these three books form. The search for home in a strange land (or ocean) is only the tip of the iceberg.

Let's see... What's beside my bed now (before I fall asleep being really the only time I have to read): William Carlos Williams' In the American Grain (the Lincoln passage alone makes this one of the greats), Wallace Stevens' Collected Poems (I found him separating sunlight before twilight into masculine and feminine forms), The Sound and the Fury (my favorite book, period), Mississippi by Anthony Walton (I'm working on a book about Mississippi writers), Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, and Lives of the Saints (one of the all time great New Orleans books) by Nancy Lemann that I love to pick up and start reading at any page after I've had too much to drink (which happens only a few times a year nowadays thank goodness), Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia, The Road by Cormac McCarthy (the best book I've read that's come out in the last decade... please God don't let them mess the movie up), and of course Faulkner's Collected Stories (the best collection of stories ever published).
Joshua Clark is the founder of Light of New Orleans Publishing. He has edited such books as French Quarter Fiction, Southern Fried Divorce, and others, including most recently Louisiana: In Words. A past editor for SCAT Magazine, he contributes to many publications including The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Lonely Planet anthologies, Consumer Affairs, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald, Poets & Writers, Louisiana Literature, Time Out: New York, and he will represent Louisiana in the forthcoming anthology State by State.

Clark runs the KARES writers relief fund and covered New Orleans in the hurricane's aftermath for and National Public Radio.

The Page 99 Test: Heart Like Water.

--Marshal Zeringue