My suggested reading:
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Author: Milan Kundura. Milan is from the Czech Republic and is still writing today. Among the best known is The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is in my opinion his finest work. It is a relatively short novel (228), but is incredibly deep with sensitive insight and stunning images. Kundura writes as if he were composing symphonies. The reader is taken along as motif’s circle and repeat, becoming more and more meaningful as the book goes on. I read this book first a few years ago and it was one of those books that made me shudder (in a good way) when I put it down. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is a book of genius and if you are looking for a new author Kundura is your man. I looked for an example of his writing but got lost in his brilliant writing, find a copy and just read the first chapter (it is less than a page long).
Author: Don Delillo, White Noise is one of his other popular novels.
From the moment I picked up Underworld I was enthralled with the voice that Delillo could project in his novel. It is a pretty hefty book (826). This is a true masterwork of post-modern writing and a book to live with. For fans of Chuck Palahniuk the author of Fight Club, Mr. Delillo has a similar voice but his sounds like the voice of a man where Chuck’s is that of a young man.
Here is one of my favorite passages:
Everyday things represent the most over looked knowledge. These names are vital to your progress. Quotidian things. If they weren’t important, we wouldn’t use such a gorgeous Latinate word. Say it,” he said. “Quotidian.”
This book took me some time to get through. It is a slow but meaningful read.
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart
This is an anthology edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman and Michael Meade.
Robert Bly is well known for his earlier book Iron John
Robert Bly always puts together a great anthology and this one is no exception. It was compiled around the axis of what it is to be a man, with sections titled “War,” “The house of Fathers and Titans” and “The Second Layer: Anger, Hatred, Outrage,” but is equally relevant and enthralling for women. The editors start each chapter with a short writing on the section of poems to come which help a layman to poetry like me, come to the poems with some clarity. This is a good book for a person that enjoys poems but wants to get to know more poets.