I have cried more in the first week of Donald Trump’s reign of terror than I did in all of 2016. And while I could give you the old razzle-dazzle about how every cloud has its silver lining – and in fact, I do believe that– I’d rather provide a list of books to make you feel less alone. Sometimes literary solidarity is even better than literary solace. Note this list is a tad controversial in terms of its omissions. (For example, no The Year of Magical Thinking, which I unfashionably regard as a valentine to ladylike dissociation that’s typical of author Joan Dideon.)
Disturbances in the Field–Lynne Sharon Schwartz
A satisfyingly sprawling tome about a married pair of New York City artists whose children die in a bus accident, Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s Disturbances in the Field captures the unhappy specificity of grief with an unflinching eye and wonderful descriptions of food, sex, and 1980s Manhattan shimmer.
Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object–Laurie Colwin
Food writer and novelist Laurie Colwin died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm in her forties. Though technically she could not have anticipated the brevity of her life, this meticulously constructed novel about a twentysomething woman who loses her husband in a sailing accident suggests an eerie familiarity with the particular pain of an early demise. Like of all of Colwin’s books, it also conveys uncomfortable truths and irrevocable, rushing pleasures. Continue Reading →