By Eli Ryder & John Flynn-York
Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko
A classic by now, no doubt, but emblematic of being between spaces: part poetry, part prose, all-the-way disorienting, brutal and beautiful. Just the stuff we like.
Last Days, Brian Evenson
The abrupt opening feels like we’ve skipped past the beginning of the story, as though it’s been amputated, but its presence echoes throughout like phantom pains. Fitting, since amputation is the center of the narrative. Texts like this one, wherein the construction emulates the content and creates a conduit between the reader and the text, are the vein in which we swim.
Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
Yes, it’s massive, yes, it’s dense, yes, at times it’s almost impossible to decipher what’s happening. But the sentences are extraordinary, Tyrone Slothrop is a hilarious comic hero—or is he an antihero?—and Pynchon’s virtuoso familiarity with a near-endless variety of arcane subjects, including German rocket engineering and the extinction of the dodo, is entrancing.
This Is Not A Novel, David Markson
Hard to explain, this one. It’s easily the most non-novel novel I’ve ever seen, to the point where even its publishers hesitate to categorize it wholly as one thing or another. It’s self-referential, but subtle, puzzling and simultaneously invigorating.
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
I could say quite a bit about this book, but for our purposes here I’ll limit my comments to this: to read it, you have to turn the book upside down, go backwards, follow footnotes like footprints, and sometimes hold it up to a mirror. Seriously. My kind of weird.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Magaret Atwood
Sure, it’s overexposed now, with a Hulu series and through-the-roof sales. But this story of a dystopian future in which women are treated like property is incisive and chilling, with clear, concise writing that conveys a strangled horror… and maybe a dash of hope.
“The Aleph,” Jorge Luis Borges
“The Library of Babel” might be the Borges story most appropriate for the Internet age, but the character development in “The Aleph,” paired with its mind-bending premise, is Borges at his finest. It’s weird, it’s moving, it’s the kind of thing we want to publish.