I’ve included a short list of books I like and would recommend to people who ask. I will occasionally add to this page. So check back often. Would love to hear your thoughts on these books as you read them.
The master of American Literature, Ernest Hemingway. If I could only pick one book to reread again and again it would be The Sun Also Rises. This is where it all started for me. Before reading this, I didn’t know people were allowed to write like this. I didn’t know you could write like people spoke. I didn’t know you could write about how much people drank. Prior to this book, I had only read books required to graduate high school and even those, saying I read them is a stretch. And then at twenty years old, I came across this book and became a reader for life and took that love of literature and became a writer as well.
It is hard to just pick one of Larry Brown’s books, but if I had to choose one to start with it would be Joe. Larry Brown knows how to write about the poor South and does so with compassion and without a trace of condescension, a true mark of a writer’s talent.
Anything by Harry Crews, but if you haven’t read him before, my suggestion would be starting with A Feast of Snakes: A Novel. This book might be the epitome of Grit Lit.
Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives: Stories by Brad Watson. This collection of stories was the finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
To have someone like Raymond Carver say “These stories will last” is all one really needs to know about Bobbie Ann Mason’s collection of stories, Shiloh and Other Stories (Modern Library Paperbacks). If Raymond Carver says they are good than they are good.
The Crossing by Jonathan Fink is a fantastic book of poetry. Fink is the director of creative writing at the University of West Florida and has had his worked published in The New York Times Magazine, New England Review, The Southern Review and many more.
Of course, my book, Native Moments by Nic Schuck