Wednesday, March 3, 2010

unsung literary heroes

I've been sorting books in my office in preparation for a talk. The best things come to me this way, often. Here are four more books that surprised me, rock me, and in one way or another captivate me. Not one of them is well known; even Hugh Kenner's was found in a pile of remainders at The St. Mark's bookstore (many years ago), far under-priced: _We bark at Midnight_, by Van Lane Ferguson (Tuttle, Rutland VT and Tokyo Japan); _Daughters Of Memory_, by Peter Najarian (City Miner, Berkeley); _A Homemade World_, by Hugh Kenner (Marion Boyars, London); and _Red_, by Melanie Braverman (Perugia, Florence Massachusetts). I see Melanie Braverman on the flats in Provincetown every other summer or so. It is a wonder that such writing of simplicity and torque comes from, also, the quiet of standing--or submerged in--the few remaining inches of tide, ebbing or oncoming, in gentle conversation. This is the seed that floats from India to Ireland, from Italy to Haiti. We are made more of what we become by drift.