Summer Reads: Matt Rowan

 

Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones

I'll read anything Jones publishes. So far, doing so hasn't once left me disappointed. Crystal Eaters, which I've gotten a taste of from reading an excerpt in a recent issue of Salt Hill Journal, looks to be everything I've come to enjoy about his fiction, with a dash of Michel Gondry meets J.G. Ballard for good measure. An absurd but simultaneously serious journey to a world in which crystals exist in each living creature and everyone has a finite number of them.

 

Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace

I'm actually already about halfway through this one. Much has been said about Wallace in recent years, both good and bad, but I remain an unabashed fan. His stories, with their obsessive explication of the minutest details, always read to me like honest and true streams of consciousness, stories pulled straight from characters' heads.  

 

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

I'm looking forward to reading something about economics that wasn't written by F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, or Murray Rothbard, which is to say that their variegated but similarly neo-liberal theories have worn thin. Piketty's book I'm hopeful will offer a much needed and erudite perspective from a more centrist place on the political spectrum, a little too rare in economics generally speaking. 

 

Bark by Lorrie Moore

I love Moore's stories. There's such a fun, visceral quality to everyday life (even, somehow, when it descends into the realm of the sardonic) present in her work. I've had the opportunity to teach her short story "How to Become a Writer," which perfectly captures second-person narration. She's gravitated toward more straightforward narrative in more recent collections, like in Birds of America, and I remain curious to see what she does next. 

 

Matt Rowan serves as fiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.