Today She tells us about her Six Books.
Right now I'm finally reading The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, and finding it more interesting and beautiful than its place in pop culture suggests. I'm also reading The City Authentic by David Banks, about the quest for cultural capital in modern American cities. Finally, I'm the 22nd person in the library holds queue for The Quiet Tenant by Clemence Michallon, and I'm dying!
A new Kelly Jo Ford book, The Hunt, [Came out 7/25], and I'm stoked. It sounds like it's got Shirley Jackson vibes, plenty of small-town drama, and queerness!
I reread a lot of books throughout the year--sometimes for comfort, sometimes because I'm looking for something half-remembered--but one I usually save for the cusp of autumn is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. I also want to revisit Giovanni's Room, a quintessential summer read.
A classic case of "too young at the time"--Wuthering Heights didn't land at all for me in high school; I remember thinking everyone was very dramatic, which didn't vibe with my overly serious view of myself. In college, I finally felt a little dramatic myself, but more importantly, had some of the capacity needed to understand what Emily was up to. Now I've reread it several times at different ages, and I admire and enjoy it more every time.
In high school, I was flabbergasted to encounter Zora Neale Hurston in my AP Language class. Here was a writer whose stories were set near the places I grew up, and whose attention to place and people's relationship to their places mirrored my obsession with the same! I hadn't read an author who depicted my parts of Florida with such interest since The Yearling. As I've gotten older, more and more Florida authors have made their mark--Lauren Groff, Karen Russell, Dantiel Moniz, to name a few--but Hurston remains a formative influence for me and a singular, all-time artist.
My debut novella, Little Nothing, is out now from Queen of Swords Press. It's got weird horse girls and even weirder horses--these babies are a Florida swamp take on the kelpies of Irish myth. Set at the beginning of the Civil War near Lake Okeechobee, it's alt-history for people who like fairy tales, frontiers, "The Highwayman," and established sapphic relationships.
Thank you, Dee!