Friday, February 7, 2020

Chana Porter

Chana Porter is a playwright, teacher, MacDowell Colony fellow, and co-founder of The Octavia Project, a STEM and fiction-writing program for girls and gender non-conforming youth from underserved communities. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Porter's debut novel is The Seep.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
My Love Letter to Indie Book Sellers

I’m very lucky to be traveling around the country right now on my book tour for The Seep, getting to read at truly awesome indie bookstores. Here’s just a
few highlights from the tour so far, in terms of books that have been coming home with me:

I started my tour at the historic Women & Children First in Chicago. I got to chatting with one of the badass booksellers and she recommended that I buy Black Light, a collection of short stories by Kimberly King Parsons. This has been on my to-read list for a while.

Then I went to my home base of Brooklyn, where I had an event at the gorgeous new bar/cafe space at Powerhouse Arena. Y’all—this book store is looking sexy! They had mood lighting and everything. You should go there for tinder dates. I didn’t get my act together to buy a book before closing cause of all my cute friends had me sign their copies of The Seep (such a fun, surreal experience) but I’ll hit them up next time I’m in Dumbo. I did, however, sign some books at the wonderful Unnameable Books in Prospect Heights, where I nabbed Abigail by Magda Szabó. I’ve been on a tear since discovered Szabo— she’s so compassionate and thorny.

At Solid State Books, a gorgeous new bookstore and cafe in D.C., I nabbed the paperback edition of The Parisian by Isabella Hammad. I already have my own copy— this was a gift for my parents. I’m reading it very slowly, it’s a gorgeous world to sink into!

I didn’t buy this yet because suitcase problems but I saw a complete collection of Octavia Butler at the awesome worker owned bookstore Red Emma’s in Baltimore. K.M. Szpara gifted me a copy of his forthcoming novel Docile and I started reading it on the plane to the west coast. Then I felt weird about getting aroused in a crowded, public space, so I’ll return to it later!

Also in Baltimore I hung with the fine folks from Erewhon Press, where I received a copy of The Fortress by S.A. Jones and The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke, out from them later this year. I devoured The Fortress in one sitting, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m glad it exists. So many feelings.

This Friday, January 31st I’ll be at Skylight Books in LA, where I’m planning to buy Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi and The Missing American by Kwei Quartey. I always spend way too much money at Skylight so I’ll certainly be leaving with more than two books. If you get a membership at Skylight, which costs $25 for the year, they’ll ship you books for free. And you get discounted prices. I’m a proud member— you know I love a bargain!

Hey internet, what should I read next?
Visit Chana Porter's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Seep.

--Marshal Zeringue