Last summer, I met an old friend for drinks in Boulder. We had once been friends who shared our fiction writing and talked endlessly about the books and short stories we were reading and how we were thinking about writing different characters and story lines. You can imagine my embarrassment when he asked what I was reading and I couldn’t think of a single thing that didn’t have the words “poverty,” “development,” “poor,” “family,” or “gender” in the title. As a result, I started devouring Faulkner, and have been since been making more time for fiction.
Over the winter break, I happened to read two very enjoyable books in quick succession with similar themes: time, memory, writing, sexual oppression and violence, gender, and even some academic inquiry. If I had a literature PhD instead of an economics one, I’d probably write a paper on Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. One has elements of the Murakami-like magical realism and one is more a dystopian fantasy, but both are excellent reads and highly recommended.
I’m still reading the other stuff of course. In fact, I spent Christmas morning before everyone got up with Justice, Gender, And The Family, much to the consternation of my family and friends.
Doesn’t everyone read feminist tracts while waiting to open presents? No? Y’all are missing out.