Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart (Mud Luscious, 2009) and she is the fiction reviewer for East&West Magazine, which is based out of Hanoi, Vietnam. Send her an email; if she's not avoiding you, she'll respond – maybe even with a funny photograph.
what are you reading now
I just finished Esther Williams's autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid, and I'm really looking forward to having some time to begin a long project about her contribution to synchronized swimming. The idea of synchronicity is interesting. Very Benjaminian (as was first proposed by Synthia Sydnor). And old-timey Hollywood in its heyday is hopefully a great backdrop. I'm trying to watch all her movies in the weeks and months to come, and the ones I've seen lately have been viewed while simultaneously reading Saramago's Baltasar and Blimunda, Curtis Smith's The Species Crown (Press 53, 2007), and M. Thomas Gammarino's Big in Japan: A Ghost Story (Chin Music Press, Inc., 2009).
classic you’ve been meaning to read
Bleak House. Or maybe Lolita. These two come highly recommended by my favorite former fiction professor, Michael Griffith. If you haven't read Michael before, learn his name now and buy his novel Trophy as soon as it comes out. One chapter, that I had the pleasure of hearing him read, is titled "A Perfectly Respectable O'clock for Your Turkey." Anyway, I'm supposed to be leading a discussion on The Brothers Karamazov over at Big Other. I might go revise this to Bleak House. Or maybe Lolita. The reading is to begin on the first day of winter.
last book to bring you to tears
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, circa eleventh grade. Singer, man. Whew.
favorite book from childhood
Shel Silverstein's poems. I read all of them, all the time. I want them now on huge white canvases, with his illustrations of course. I would hang them all over my house, if I had a house.
most scribble-ridden book in your collection
Either The Catcher in the Rye or One Hundred Years of Solitude. I've written too many papers on both, which means I've got multiple sets of notes in each. I also have two (or three?) copies of each, but I only write in the already-messy ones.
book you borrowed and never returned
My long-lost friend Drew might kill me for this first-time-ever confession. When I left college a year-and-a-half in, I stole his tattered, coffee-stained copy of Tales of Beatnik Glory. I still have it. Sorry, Drew.
most challenging book you’ve ever read
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
Boring Postcards, and, my god, are they boring. I can't recall actually trying to impress someone specifically, but this was on my coffee table for a long time, all by itself. I'm unsure now what this indicates about me. Interesting.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
Ninth Letter, because that's where I discovered Blake Butler, who opened me up to all of this. I'll forever be grateful. Plus, it's just so darned good-looking.
best thing you’ve read online recently
Official Brown MFA Blog #1, which I just discovered yesterday because it was linked from Brandi Wells's blog, and, as always, Christopher Higgs's Bright Stupid Confetti, which I love and look forward to like a crazy woman in a bathrobe.
most anticipated upcoming release
Mine. Am I allowed to say that? I mean, it's true. Like, I will have copies of my first-ever book in less than one month. Twenty-two days from now, I will be standing in Cambridge, MA and reading from it--it will be in my hands--and the next day I will be reading from it in Providence, RI, and maybe Brian Evenson will be there. Brown is my dream school. I do not currently have an MFA. I'm ready to be in a writing program again. I'd like to finish some of these projects that I haven't been able to devote time to because I teach full-time and all I do is grade and read and prep and grade and prep and grade. So it's like, one month, huh? Seriously? It's terrifying. And unbelievable. And I'm really, really excited.
Of course, I am also looking forward to Kate Bernheimer's The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold; Michael Griffith's Trophy; Brock Clarke's Exley; and Kevin Wilson's novel, which, if I'm not mistaken, was only recently submitted to his publisher.
recommended reading list:
Books I Refuse to Leave Behind Any Time I Move to a New City
- Midnight's Children and The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie
- Blindness by José Saramago
- The Baron in the Trees and Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
- Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp
- The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold and The Complete Tales of Merry Gold by Kate Bernheimer
- My Happy Life by Lydia Millet
- Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar
- The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
- The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories
- Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson
- Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler
- Light Boxes by Shane Jones
- The Persistence of Objects by Richard Garcia
- Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death by Christopher Kennedy
- Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe
- Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson