Friday, January 21, 2011

Required Reading Part 1: The Unknown Edition

I have a lot of required reading for my Women and Literature class this semester, and I thought I'd dedicate a post or two to showcasing what my professor is having us read, and see if anyone else has read anything on the list!

This will be posted in three parts, simply because there are too many books to showcase in one post.

Part One: The Unknown Edition
[[so named because I'm not sure what to expect from these books based on summaries alone]]

1. Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls, A Novel by Lucy Corin
Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls examines what it means to grow up curious and irrepressible in a culture of girl-killers. The narrative interweaves history, myth, rumor, and news with the experiences of a young girl living in the flatness of south Florida. Like Grace Paley's narrators, she is pensive and eager, hungry for experience but restrained. Into the sphere of her regard come a Ted Bundy reject, the god Osiris, a Caribbean slave turned pirate, a circus performer, broken horses, a Seminole chief in a swamp, and a murderous babysitter. Everyday Psychokillers reaches to the edge of the psychoanalytical and jolts the reader back to daily life. The reader becomes the killer, the watcher, the person on the verge, hiding behind an everyday face
2. Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson
A new entry in Soft Skull's ShortLit series, Jane tells the spectral story of the life and death of Maggie Nelson's aunt Jane. Though officially unsolved, Jane's murder was apparently the third in a series of seven brutal rape-murders near the University of Michigan in the late 1960s. Nelson was born a few years after Jane's death, and the narrative is suffused with the long shadow her aunt’s murder cast over both the family and her psyche. Through a collage of poetry, prose, dream accounts, and documentary sources — including fragments from Jane's own diaries — the book explores the nature of this haunting incident and raises deeper questions about girlhood, empathy, identification, and the essentially unknowable aspects of another’s life and death. Part elegy, part memoir, part detective story, part meditation on violence, and part conversation between the living and the dead, Jane's powerful and disturbing subject matter, combined with its innovations in genre, expands the notion of what poetry can do, what kinds of stories it can tell, and how it can tell them.
3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

These are the first three on the list. What do you think?



  1. I havent read the above books, but they do sound interesting.

  2. I haven't read or heard of any of these, but they sound a bit fascinating. I'm actually watching Criminal Minds right now so you know...makes me think of that. :)

    I hope they are good.


    Oh, and care to check out the blog tour? Giveaway time: