Matthew Hooton's Reading Recommendations:
I remember an interview with Ray Bradbury in which he talked about the importance of libraries, and of self education. His thing was to read one short story, one essay, and one poem each day. So I’m riffing on that here with these recent reads:
Novel: The Overstory by Richard Powers. Somehow sweeping and intimate all at once, full of glorious descriptions and facts about trees and the connectivity of life. Character driven, ecological fiction at its very best. I’m not sure I’ll ever look at a tree the same way. Not sure I’d want to.
Short Story: Pedro Mairal’s “Early This Morning”. Even in translation from the original Spanish (Pedro’s from Buenos Aires) the story builds rhythmically, as we journey with our speaker through both time and place at an accelerated rate until the future and past merge in an outpouring of beautifully rendered emotion and grace. Free to read here: http://pedromairal.blogspot.com/2007/02/early-this-morning.html
Poem: “How To Write a Poem in a Time of War” by Joy Harjo. Included for its polyphonic qualities and the power of the specific to transcend. Free to read at Poetry Foundation here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/143934/how-to-write-a-poem-in-a-time-of-war
Essay: “The Properties of Culture and the Possession of Identity: Postcolonial Struggle and the Legal Imagination”, by Rosemary J. Coombe. A quote from the text: “This nexus of ecological, spiritual, social, and territorial concerns is central to any understanding of cultural appropriation.” Like so many of us (I hope), I’m learning. Trying.
Podcast: Heavyweight with Jonathan Goldstein on Gimlet Media. CBC’s former golden man-boy fixing the problems of the world one lost soul at a time. What could possibly go wrong?
Matthew Hooton is the author of the novels Deloume Road and Typhoon Kingdom, and has written fiction and non-fiction for a number of venues internationally. He teaches at the University of Adelaide, where his research ranges from Korean history through Jim Henson's Muppets and the stunts of Evel Knievel. His story Nine Endings was published in the Summer Fiction issue of The Fiddlehead. Order your copy of the issue today!