Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stephanie Feldman

Stephanie Feldman studied writing at the University of Pennsylvania and Barnard College. NPR calls her first novel, The Angel of Losses, "a breathtakingly accomplished debut" and The Washington Post describes it as "a journey of fantastic tales, stormy family ties and a tragic discovery of redemption that will break your heart." Barnes & Noble has named the book a Discover Great New Writers selection for fall 2014. Feldman lives outside Philadelphia with her family and is at work on a new novel.

Early this month I asked Feldman about what she was reading. Her reply:
I read lots of contemporary fiction. This summer I read and loved Rene Denfeld's The Enchanted, Alexi Zentner's The Lobster Kings, and J.M. Ledgard's Submergence, and I'm excited to finally have my copy of David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. But I’ll tell you about a few books I discovered this summer that are not literary novels.

I just finished Brain on Fire, Susannah Cahalan's memoir about the rare neurological disease that struck her when she was 24. I love popular science, and I'm fascinated by medical culture, but beyond that, the book is a harrowing and very human account of disease and identity. It's a bestseller for a reason.

A friend gave me a copy of This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, a graphic novel about two young friends, Rose and Windy, who spend every summer together at the beach. I'm not a big YA reader, and the premise seemed a little too familiar—but I'm so glad I read this fantastic book. (My friends have good taste.) So many little moments and details that perfectly capture teenage longing, shifts in female friendships, and dawning perceptions of parents' private lives. Windy Forever!

Finally, let me recommend Brian Gresko's When I First Held You, a collection of 22 essays by acclaimed authors that grapple with fatherhood. Each piece tackles a different experience, but they share a raw honesty and emotional intensity. It's a moving book, and a welcome counterpart to the wealth of writing on motherhood.
Visit Stephanie Feldman's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Angel of Losses made Nicole Hill's list of five of the best new girl-powered sci-fi and fantasy novels.

The Page 69 Test: The Angel of Losses.

--Marshal Zeringue