Jesús Ángel García is the author of badbadbad—a novel, soundtrack and documentary film. He lives in San Francisco and is currently editing his second novel, Down in a Hole, when not fantasizing about starting a thrash band with an accordionist and a fiddle player.
what are you reading now
The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich. I’m a hipster. I read the books everyone’s talking about a year (or years) after the fact. I’m also dipping in and out of the Noir at the Bar collection, a kind of amazing new (yes, new!) anthology edited by Jed Ayers and Scott Phillips, only available at Subterranean Books. “Pig Helmet and the Wall of Life” by Pinckney Benedict is the must-read hallucinatory tale, where gravity-defying motorbikes meet serpents and the Scriptures.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
Crime and Punishment and Gorky’s Mother. There was a time when I overdosed on Russian fiction and had to cut myself off before getting to these two. I know I’ll read Mother eventually, though I may never return to Dostoyevsky. I think I’m done with old-school soap operas.
last book to make you laugh out loud
Emergency Room Wrestling by the Dirty Poet.
book you’d like to see made into a film
Operation Wandering Soul by Richard Powers. A film that manages to translate this prose to the screen would be a heartbreaking epic freakshow.
if you could take a cross-country road trip with any literary character
Orlando, no question. No limits on time and sex = endless opportunity for trouble-making.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
The Human Pony, though impress probably isn’t the word. Provoke is more to the point. O, the conversations this book started…
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
Zoetrope or Tin House - world-class editorial and design standards, ideal combo of smart and fun.
best thing you’ve read online recently
3 Poems by Mark Leidner in Action, Yes. I like how Leidner controls the narrative voice in these pieces without making it feel tight. His rhythms are powerful music, too. I like the velocity of the last one, the beauty of the love poem, the love, and the provocative politics of the first.
most anticipated upcoming release
Michael Ondaatje’s new novel, The Cat's Table, which came out last month. I’ll probably read it a year from now, though I’ve been thinking about it for some time. I’ve read most of Ondaatje’s fiction, a lot of his poetry, some of his non-fiction. I feel like he does this thing - I don’t know what it is - that makes his prose lift off the page. There’s a levitating quality to his language. Anil’s Ghost, The English Patient and Coming Through Slaughter are essential. I don’t know what the new book’s about. I don’t need to know.
recommended reading list:
Bent-Beautiful Books Too Little Talked About in 2011 by Authors Not Born in the United States Nor Residing in NYC
- Art & Lies by Jeanette Winterson
- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
- The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau
- Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje
- A Night of Serious Drinking by Rene Daumal
- Not Always So by Shunryu Suzuki
- The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz
- Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
- G. by John Berger
- Destroy, She Said by Marguerite Duras