Year in Reading

A Year in Reading: Joshua Ferris

By posted at 8:35 am on December 7, 2009 3

covercovercoverI had the great pleasure of reading Sarah Manguso’s memoir The Two Kinds of Decay, a spare, unsentimental account of her fight against a rare autoimmune disorder. Manguso brings to the memoir a poet’s attention to line breaks and white space, which amplify the chilling juxtapositions and naked declarations of her monumental physical struggle. It’s a rare form for the memoir, one that perfectly suits its subject.

Holly Goddard-Jones wrote a sad, dark, honest-spoken collection of stories called Girl Trouble, set in rural Kentucky—all eight of them 80-proof and among my favorites of the year.

And I’ve just finished the lion’s share of essays in Zadie Smith’s collection Changing My Mind. I think Smith the best critic of her generation, maybe the best mind altogether. Certainly no one has written a more loving critical appraisal of David Foster Wallace than she has in the final essay, where she makes a convincing case that Wallace’s difficulty and maddening recursion was not purposeful obfuscation, but the manifestation of his commitment to making meaningful human connection on the page.

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3 Responses to “A Year in Reading: Joshua Ferris”

  1. Amber
    at 11:22 pm on December 8, 2009

    I finished Zadie Smith’s book last night and I must say, it was an enjoyable read. I got so many suggestions for new books to read. The only downside I’d say about the book was that I hadn’t read some of the books her essays were on and it made it a little hard to get thru.

  2. The Nervous Breakdown
    at 9:00 am on December 16, 2009

    […] Recently at The Millions, Josh Ferris talked about Changing My Mind, a collection of essays from Zadie Smith, and I […]

  3. Zadie Smith and Her Craft « Three Guys One Book
    at 10:11 pm on October 14, 2010

    […] Recently at The Millions, Josh Ferris talked about Changing My Mind, a collection of essays from Zadie Smith, and I […]

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