#FridayReads for 9/6/13

Mr Fox

Gillian Ramos (Blog Editor) is reading Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi.

Imagine you sat down at your desk to write one morning, and your muse stopped by to visit. Wouldn’t it be great to have a chat with him or her? Now imagine that your muse is upset with you because of how you’ve been treating your characters over the course of your career. Your muse thinks you need to be taught a lesson, and pulls you into worlds just like the ones you’ve created in your own work, for better or worse. With Mr. Fox, Helen Oyeyemi has created a literary multiverse that is funny, seductive, nightmarish, and absolutely enthralling.


Jaclyn Vorenkamp (Associate Editor) is reading Zona by Geoff Dyer. 

Before the world was electronically enmeshed, Geoff Dyer, whatever country he found himself in, sought out runs of the movie Stalker by the legendary Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. His first viewing, witnessing might be a better word, occurred in 1981 when he was in his early twenties and Dyer asserts that had he not seen this film at an impressionable age, his responsiveness to the world would have been radically diminished. Now, after absorbing the film over and over and at various stages of his life, he has written in the Dyer manner a work that defies categorization. Not exactly a review, nor a critique or memoir, not merely a history or meditation, but some thing that encompasses all those genres, as life does, to share with us as nearly as words can convey the experience of knowing this film.

Dyer has transformed the non-verbal experience of watching the film into a profoundly verbal one by conversing with the reader in a deeply personal yet fully informed way about what the film means to him and how it has changed him, how he has matured with it as a kind of constant in his life and how this could be so. If you watch Stalker for the first time after reading this book, you will feel you know the movie and understand it, frame by frame, and it will penetrate you and nestle inside you and change the way you view human existence.