Miles From Nowhere, Nami Mun, Riverhead – Nami Mun’s novel in stories, Miles From Here, the life of a Korean American runaway in the Bronx , is the book I hoped existed after I finished reading Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son in 1994. So, that’s a long time, but, it’s here.
The Torturer’s Wife, Thomas Glave, City Lights Books – Thomas Glave‘s Whose Song? was the debut of a wholly original voice in American letters, and his long-awaited novel, The Torturer’s Wife, appears in December. Finding this out sort of makes me want to have a parade for him. Literally, every year I would check to see if he had a new book of stories or a novel.
Lark and Termite, Jayne Anne Phillips, Knopf – Jayne Anne Phillips’ first collection, Black Tickets, is someting my friend Scott Heim and I both claim as one of our most important influences as a young writer. Jayne Anne is so copied as a writer you might miss how original she is, reading Black Tickets—everyone wanted to be her. She’s doing okay. Meanwhile, this book has just come out and it’s an electric narrative that winds together the Korean War and West Virginia in the lives of an American soldier in the Korean War and his family back home. The outstanding Michiko Kakutani review is here.
Personal Days, Ed Park, Random House -I met Ed Park over a month ago, and bought the beautiful paperback of his novel, Personal Days. I began it on the plane home for Thanksgiving. It’s like satire done as an experiment in nervous laughter. Just go get it.