What is A/S Reading? – No. 12

Before we all pass out face down in our turkey and other delicious Thanksgiving goodies next week, this is: What is A/S Reading?

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Fiction Editor John M. Cusick is reading Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim, a fantastic, in-depth examination of his lyrics, with application to all forms of writing.

Few living artists are so articulate about their own work and process. The book traces his career from West Side Story through Merrily We Roll Along. I’m eager for the followup, Look, I Made a Hat, which pubs this month.

Publicist Vicki Lame is currently savoring Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere by André Aciman one phenomenal essay at a time.

Aciman is one of my favorite writers. And, if you know me, that is a strong statement indeed. His novel, Call Me by Your Name, haunted me, and I think of Eight White Nights every time it snows and a certain song plays (no, I’m not saying which one). But, his essay collections, first with False Papers, and now with Alibis,  have made me feel as if they were written for me and me alone. So, when I finally dipped into his latest collection I knew it would be a slow, gorgeous read, one I would indulge in an essay here or there between other books. I am not the biggest fan of essays in general; I can–at times–find them too self-congratulatory. But, Aciman writes in such an intimate, expressive way that I feel nostalgia for moments I have never had. In his essay “Intimacy” he writes: Great artists are those who give us what we think was already ours. And that is exactly what he does with all his work.

As of press time (so to speak), our intrepid Poetry Editor Evan Simko-Bednarski was too busy deciphering Danish street signs to provide more than a list of books he is reading: The Rough Guide to Copenhagen and Soren Kierkegaard’s The Present Age.

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