Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Lily Brooks-Dalton

Lily Brooks-Dalton's first novel Good Morning, Midnight has been translated into seventeen languages and was the inspiration for the film adaptation The Midnight Sky. She is also the author of a memoir, Motorcycles I’ve Loved, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. The Light Pirate, her second novel and third book, is now available. A former writer-in-residence at The Kerouac House and The Studios of Key West, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Brooks-Dalton's reply:
I recently finished Dinosaurs, by Lydia Millet. I listened to it, actually, and although I do find that I miss certain elements of a terrific book like this one when I’m listening as opposed to reading, I also got to take long walks with it, which felt like a pairing the book itself would appreciate. I usually have an audio book and a physical book going at the same time. That said, I think I’ll need to buy a copy of Dinosaurs at some point, just to go back and admire some of the nuance that I’m sure I missed. The story is wonderfully engaging without being particularly interested in plot or conflict, and to me that is a wildly difficult trick for a writer to pull off… the literary equivalent of watching someone walk a tightrope between two skyscrapers. Another reason I loved it is that I’m particularly drawn to books that deal in the anxiety of being alive right now without succumbing to sanctimony or pat answers or gloom (another high wire trick between… three skyscrapers?). It’s my first Millet novel, but now I will certainly seek out the others.

I’m almost done with There, There by Tommy Orange—hard copy—and I feel late to the party on this one as I’ve been hearing people rave about it for a while. It’s kaleidoscopic in all the characters and points of view it is juggling, and the way they align and layer is of course gorgeous. I know a friend of mine started teaching this book to his high school English students and I love that. This book belongs to a newer, better canon. What an achievement.

And then I’m eager to begin Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Change by Mario Alejandro Ariza, who I’m excited to be in conversation with at an upcoming book event. I couldn’t be more fascinated by the topic and I wish it had come out sooner so I could’ve used it for research while I was writing The Light Pirate. I’m saving it for my flight to Miami next week. Will I cry at 36,000 feet while reading it? Almost certainly.
Visit Lily Brooks-Dalton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue