A Year in Reading: Nick Flynn

December 9, 2009 | 3 books mentioned 1

covercovercoverHere’s three books that have given me pleasure over the past year: Eula BissNotes from No Man’s Land, Rachel Zucker’s, The Museum of Accidents, and Stephen Elliott’s, The Adderall Diaries

All three of these books, from the past year, are similar only in that each wrestles with daily existence in ways that have startled me, made me rethink everything I had done up to that moment, and made me reevaluate how I want to move forward. Reading each of these books is an active, rather than a passive, experience. In each I have found moments—several moments—where something I’ve never seen conjured in language before somehow rises up, before my eyes. How each writer—a poet turned essayist (Biss), a poet channeling Ginsberg with long, rangy meditations (Zucker), and a novelist arriving at his first memoir (Elliott)—arrived at these moments is both mysterious and seemingly simple—each picked up a thread of thought (racism, motherhood, murder), an image (telephone poles, zapruder films, adderall), and followed them, or, rather, allowed themselves to be led, into an unknown place. Each of these books is thrilling, in their plainspokeness and in their brilliance.

More from A Year in Reading

is an award-winning poet and the author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. His new book is The Ticking is the Bomb (January 2010). He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

One comment:

  1. Lovely conflation of three diverse titles and the writer’s own personality. Would have accordingly enjoyed seeing author expand on how they “made him rethink everything” he had done…nevertheless, as university-level teacher, I’ll bring this to class as a trigger for what a review should include.

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