I was once chastised (putting it mildly) for taking medical advice from a German bartender over a seemingly insouciant French doctor. I get it: bartender, doctor. Should be a no brainer. But if I’d listened to my Uber driver early Saturday morning of July 5th (who correctly, by the way, diagnosed my awkward unipedal hopping out to the street), it would’ve saved me $(TBD) from my ER medical bill. After all, the student loans faucet has been shut off.
What I thought was merely a bad landing (seconds after the above photo) was actually plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the heel of the foot. It’s the shock absorber for the body. And I blew mine to smithereens. The bad landing was more like having Barry Bonds take a baseball bat to my bare heel.
A couple weeks later and, well, at least I’m back to walking on two feet. The good news is that the recovery time has helped me start making my way through my summer reading list.
One nice thing about summer is having time to get back into some prose. HHhH, by Laurent Binet, was a gift to me from Tony Trigilio, my thesis advisor. Tony thought Binet’s blend of research, his innovative approach to retelling history, and the use of meta-narrative was similar to the work I did for my thesis, The Pea Patch Murders.
George Saunders’ latest collection of stories, The Tenth of December, is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. The first story in the collection is absolutely brilliant. Imagine the kind of work that would come out of a Google Hangout with James Joyce, Philip K. Dick, and Margaret Atwood.
Right now I’m moving through Rachel Kushner’s The Flame Throwers, which was recommended to me through a few disparate though dependable channels, and Kundera’s Laughable Loves (just to keep my French in check).
On deck is a revisiting of Lawrence Durrell’s terrific Alexandria Quartet. What I love about this tetralogy is Durrell’s obsession with time, relativity, and perspective. These are aspects that inform much of my own poetics, so perhaps my draw to these texts is a much deeper one.
I’ve also pre-ordered Alex Phillips’ new book, Unkindness, from H_NGM_N. I plan to write a review of the book, so keep an eye out for that.
Additionally, I’m still working my way through all the loot from this year’s AWP in Seattle. And these three are fresh (five months later) out of my AWP tote bag. Two bags and a suitcase is a lot of books to work through. But I’m getting there.