Curtis Sittenfeld: ‘Sweet Valley High is not respected – but I found the books riveting’

8 months ago 153

My earliest speechmaking memory
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, a representation publication I pored implicit portion waiting successful an car assemblage store for my mother’s car to beryllium fixed. I deliberation I was four.

My favourite publication increasing up
I loved books that made the satellite look mysterious and enchanted, specified arsenic The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig.

The publication that changed maine arsenic a teenager
The summertime I was 16, I work the 2 yearly anthologies The Best American Short Stories and The O Henry Prize Stories. The voices were truthful live and varied successful scope. Fun fact: I grew up to beryllium the 2020 impermanent exertion for The Best American Short Stories.

The writer who changed my mind
Last summer, I work Fulfillment: Winning and Losing successful One-Click America by Alec MacGillis. It’s a meticulous, devastating indictment of Amazon’s effect connected individuals and communities. It prompted maine to halt buying astatine Whole Foods, which was bought by Amazon successful 2017.

The publication that made maine privation to write
I devoured bid specified arsenic Sweet Valley High and The Girls of Canby Hall. These are not respected books (whatever that means), but I recovered them riveting, and I inactive aspire to work and constitute books that are unputdownable.

The writer I came backmost to
I archetypal work Raymond Carver arsenic a teen and recovered his stories excessively emotionally and linguistically spare. A fewer years later, erstwhile I taught his stories to undergraduates, I gained a caller appreciation for however their ostensible simplicity made them accessible to my students – and I saw that they were acold much analyzable than I’d realised.

The publication I reread
I’ve been speechmaking and rereading Alice Munro stories for much than 30 years, and her insights astir romanticist attraction, marriage, parenthood and relationship deed maine otherwise arsenic I age.

The publication I discovered aboriginal successful life
I precocious listened to the superb and sometimes scathing effort postulation Thick by the sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom. It’s a remark connected the sped-up quality of the net (and Twitter specifically, wherever Cottom is precise active) that I felt similar I work this aft everyone other – but seemingly it was conscionable published successful 2019!

The publication I americium presently reading
Minor Feelings: A Reckoning connected Race and the Asian Condition by Cathy Park Hong. Hong was the twelvemonth down maine successful postgraduate school; she was “in” poetry, and I was “in” fiction. In summation to uncovering these essays thought provoking, I bask observing the beingness trajectory of idiosyncratic I benignant of knew a agelong clip ago.

My comfortableness read
Essay collection/autobiography hybrids by comedians, particularly those who person been connected Saturday Night Live, thin to beryllium poignant but besides reliably funny. I’ve enjoyed Bossypants by Tina Fey; Yes Please by Amy Poehler; I Am the New Black by Tracy Morgan; A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost; and I precocious bought Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch.