Welcome, lovelies, to the first installment of our new reading corner, a space to share and celebrate the written work of badass women.
There are few things I love more than reading in this life, and the strange magic that comes with it. There’s something special about an activity that makes you brighter, better, and smarter while laying down. I’m interested in books that stretch the imagination, probe at your most intricate life questions, and rattle you to the bone with language.
I will be introducing two books every month. Some books will be new, some will be old and forgotten, some short stories, some novels, and nonfiction for good measure. These are my little gifts to you, books that have made me a bigger person, a more particular person, a more loving and aware person; as I think a good book should. I hope you will find love, solace, ache, and laughter in every single one of them.
This is Watkins’ first novel, and it’s dripping with everything I go looking for in a book. I have to admit I went in expecting a lot. I’d read her collection of short stories, “Battleborn,” while I was in grad school and I was swooning. She tapped into a part of my imagination and vocabulary that was too glorious to allow myself to be envious. I was just thankful.
“Gold Fame Citrus” is set in a hypothetical near future of a waterless west California that has sucked everything else dry. In this world, we meet Luz and her boyfriend Ray who are squatting in a mansion in Laurel Canyon. They acquire a child (I won’t tell you how), and they go off in search of a better life. ( BTW– that’s not a spoiler because it says all of that on the jacket but I can’t speak beyond those details. I hate when you watch a movie trailer and you feel like you’ve seen the whole film.)
You will get lost in the strangeness of the world, taste the dry heat while you lie in your bed, and have a hard time not staying up all night turning those pages. And then, if you love her words like I do, circle back and read her stories in Battleborn.
While this might be a classic to some of us, others, who have never had the pleasure of reading Didion yet, are in for a treat. I take it as one of my life duties to push Didion onto everyone that will listen for a moment, and here you are, listening.
While there are many many of her essays and books that I will bring up as we go on, this is the one I want to recommend you start with, this was my introduction to her and it sets your palate for her work: it teaches you how to read her, and it makes you understand that her territory is as vast as it is dynamic. She is a master of language and a thinker like none other.
This collection of essays wanders through her journalistic based pieces, her life in Sacramento, and her think tanks on living life as a writer. My personal favorite is “On Keeping A Notebook.” It’s near the later half of the collection and by the time you get there, you’ll be in love like I am.
There is nothing quite like reading a good book for the first time. Please come on back and leave us some thoughts as you are reading. I would love to turn this into a space for us to chat about the books, these incredible writers, and the dimension they are bringing into your life. Happy reading lovelies!
(Feature image via blogosferia.blogspot.com.es)