I got into a great e-mail conversation with Tyler’s cousin, Mathias, who is deep in his studies at Brooklyn College and will receive an MFA in Creative Writing at the end of this year.
Mathias always talks with great passion about books and language. And he is so incredibly well-read, I often leave our conversations feeling as if I should shed all of my responsibilities, sneak into the library, hide in the stacks, and stay overnight for the next year to catch up.
Our discussion was about lyrical writing. Fiction that feels like poetry. Sentences that hold together with the most perfectly chosen words.
He asked a simple question: Have you read any books recently that do this well?
I’ve read all kinds of books recently. I’ve even (you’ll be surprised to know after seeing my list) read a lot of adult fiction recently. And I realize a few of these books have not been written recently. But I read them recently. And that was the question.
I also realize that what Melissa read recently isn’t exactly a perfect sample to make grand, sweeping judgements about the state of literature. So, just to clarify, that is not what I’m doing here.
I’m just talking about the question. And the list I thought to share:
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
I’ve got to tell you. I was so very thrilled after I shared my list. This makes me happier than I can say. How amazing it? How incredibly lucky are all of these young readers? They have such wonderful books written for them. They are reading, in my very humble opinion, some of the most beautiful words.
It made my day.
What have you read recently that made you fall in love with the writing and language?