Sara Wilson’s Summer Reads
Editorial assistant Sara Wilson’s summer reading picks vary in content from knotty lovers’ quarrels to narratives gathered from the aftershock of warfare. She’s added some Neruda to her list to temper some of the more tough content, and has high hopes of reading these titles in the mountains, unplugged, doused in sunshine.
Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda
Trans. Forrest Gander
Copper Canyon Press, 2016
A devotee of Neruda’s love poems in particular, I’m eager to see these “lost” poems, recently found in Neruda’s archive. Many of these pieces are full-color reproductions of handwritten poems originally written on napkins, receipts, and notebooks. It’s as though we get a glimpse into the lived experience of this master.
Graywolf Press, 2016
To those familiar with her work, it may come as a surprise that this is Sharif’s debut book of poems, as she was first published at the age of thirteen. In Look, she plays with dark euphemisms, exposing the ways in which sterile military language causes violence to human lives and to language itself: “It matters,” she writes, “what you call a thing.” I am drawn to the book because of these thoughts on language and because of her gathering of fragmented wartime narratives.
A Cup of Rage
Trans. Stefan Tobler
Penguin Classics, 2016
Only forty-seven pages long, Nassar’s steamy novel yields a stark plotline taking place on one morning in the life of a man and his young female lover. Yet the book contains much: rich inner monologue, political allusions to 1978 Brazil, and a mesmerizing pull between dominance and insolence in lovers’ quarrels. A feasibly candid take on a solely sexual relationship, this book promises a wide array of thorny emotions.