This month, Sebastian invites Fawn Parker to tell us about her favorite books. Fawn Parker is the author of Set-Point, Dumb-Show (ARP Books), What We Both Know (McClelland & Stewart), and the forthcoming poetry collections ABRACADABRA (co-authored with Joshua Chris Bouchard, Collusion Books 2022) and Jolie Laide (Palimpsest Press, 2023). Fawn is also cofounder of BAD NUDES Magazine and BAD BOOKS Press and managing editor at The Ampersand Review. Below are her favorite (boys) books.
Did you know boys can write books, too? Growing up my house was full of brilliant books by women. We dominate genres like postmodernism, absurdism, surrealism, realism, and so on. Perhaps it’s time someone gives some shelf space to the male novelists. In recent years I’ve committed to diversifying my reading, and I suggest you do, too. Here are five books by men or “men’s lit,” as I call it. Two of them take place in hell and only one of those is a campus novel (ha-ha).
Lanark by Alasdair Gray
Welcome to hell! I never finished this book but that’s only because my brain is broken. To me it is a perfect book. That is, unless things really go south in the last quarter. But how much further south can they go than literal hell? Maybe I’ll finish this book before this goes live.
Stoner by John Williams
Lots of bad man behaviour in this one. A good anti-guide for proper pedagogical activity. Very handsome portrait on the cover of my copy.
Dreaming of Babylon by Richard Brautigan
Story gets interrupted each time protag gets caught up in dreaming of Babylon. A classic Brautigan I’d say. Very fast read.
40 Stories by Donald Barthelme
Not one of them is a dud. I didn’t know who Barthelme was when I got this book as a teen and I knew from the first sentence it would change my life. I’m being dramatic. But maybe it really did change my life. For example, yesterday my husband (André Babyn, also a writer) gave me a Barthelme t-shirt from Minor Canon.
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Good pandemic read. Do we not like DeLillo anymore? I have a bad feeling about saying I like him. Sue me!
"Favorite Books with Sebastian Castillo" is our monthly column in which previous contributors and friends of Peach Mag are invited to share the works of literature that have made the biggest impacts on their reading and writing lives. Sebastian is the author of Not I and 49 Venezuelan Novels. Read previous installments of Favorite Books here.