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Top Reads of 2015: Joanna Walsh

joannaJoanna Walsh’s Top Reads of 2015


My books of the year, all published in 2015, and in no particular order…



Claire-Louise Bennett, Pond (Stinging Fly/Fitzcarraldo) 

Words build spaces for living in Bennett’s genre-defying meditation on creating and practicing a solitary life in rural Ireland.




Gavin Corbett, Green Glowing Skull (4th Estate) 

An ecstatically energetic, linguistically inventive, moving, and very funny novel of strange bodies, Hibernian nostalgia, love, and New York.




Anne Boyer, Garments Against Women (Ahsahta Press) 

The poet’s essential lyric essay on surviving as an artist and a mother in contemporary America.




Marlene van Niekerk, The Swan Whisperer (Cahier/Sylph Editions)  

A couple of unreliable narrators inhabit an unreliable format (is it a lecture, a story an epistolatory novel?) in this slim, gorgeously-produced pamphlet, by the Man Booker International Prize-nominated South African author.




Sianne Ngai, Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (Harvard University Press) 

Ngai nails the affective categories that define what we really care about, and how.




Clarice Lispector, The Collected Stories, trans. Katrina Dodson (New Directions) 

A vital new and complete translation of the stories of the giant of 20th century Brazilian literature.




Bae Suah, Nowhere to Be Found, trans. Sora Kim-Russell (Amazon Crossing) 

A bitter slip of Korean Nouveau Roman that plays with the difficulties of coherent identity in an atmosphere of repressed violence.




Kathy Acker & McKenzie Wark, I’m Very Into You (Semiotext(e))

An intoxicating, sexually and intellectually stimulating correspondence between the two writers.




Gregory Howard, Hospice (University of Alabama Press) 

Using the tropes of fairy tale and horror movies, Howard creates a delightfully uneasy narrative floor that shifts and collapses like a fairground haunted house.




Susana Medina, Philosophical Toys (The Dalkey Archive Press)

Medina’s Nina, a philosopher in high heels, takes a playful and invigorating re-evalutative tour of Freud, Buñuel, sex, and sex objects.

First posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015.

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