Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Starting this month, the Ashland MFA will share books recommended by our program’s faculty. We're including instructional guides, anthologies, and classics of the craft, all meant to be helpful tools for developing writers. Listed below are this month’s recommendations.
The Art of the Personal Essay, ed. by Phillip Lopate
Recommended by Steve Harvey
This is by far the most influential and extensive collection of personal essays in English. It contains work from antiquity and from Europe in translation as well as classic works by English and American Essayists. Lopate’s choices are judicious and representative and, read as a whole, give a sense of scope of this new and, before him, largely unchartered genre.
The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them by Stephen Burt
Recommended by Angela Estes
This book was just published and offers a terrific introduction to the varied kinds of poetry of the late 20th and early 21st centuries by devoting 2-3 page essays to each poem, examining how and why the poem works. It's a great way, too, for students to expand their reading.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Recommended by our fiction instructors, Erika Krouse, E.J. Levy, and William Haywood Henderson
This novel is remarkable for having the ultimate unreliable narrator and antihero as well as its powerful narrative voice and style.
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Recommended by the fiction instructors, Erika Krause, E.J. Levy, and William Haywood Henderson
Readers should pay special attention to this novel’s use of setting and theme.
* Photo at top of page is "Book and Glass" by Pasi Mämmelä, used courtesy of Creative Commons license via Flickr