Year in Reading

A Year in Reading: Jess Row

By posted at 5:36 am on December 19, 2007 2

Jess Row’s first book, The Train to Lo Wu, a collection of short stories set in Hong Kong, was shortlisted for the PEN/Hemignway Award. In 2007 he was named a Best Young American Novelist by Granta. He is currently at work on a new collection of stories and a novel set in Laos during the Vietnam War.

covercoverI’d be lying if I didn’t say that my favorite books read in 2007 were Little Dorrit and Daniel Deronda. But almost as much fun as the novels themselves were the copious endnotes (in the Penguin and Modern Library editions, respectively). I wonder: in a hundred years, will any novels from our era get the same treatment? And if so, what will the endnotes “say?”

coverOther favorites: David Means’ The Secret Goldfish; Cees Nooteboom, Lost Paradise; Leonard Michaels, The Collected Stories; Nathan Englander, The Ministry of Special Cases; Nadine Gordimer, Beethoven was One-Sixteenth Black; Han Shaogong, A Dictionary of Maqiao. I was also introduced this year to the anthropologist and cultural theorist Michael Taussig, whose Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses was probably the book I carried around the longest (and still haven’t finished).

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2 Responses to “A Year in Reading: Jess Row”

  1. JohnFox
    at 9:46 am on December 19, 2007

    Jess Row is wonderful – wonderful author, and a great interviewee (I did one with him at BookFox, http://www.thejohnfox.com). Can't wait for the novel set in Laos, although last I talked to him he was working on another collection of short fiction dealing with religious fundamentalism (of which one was published in http://www.fivechapters.com) Maybe he's doing both?

  2. Jack
    at 8:38 am on January 1, 2008

    Often, I change my mind by way of thinking, but I’m not a philosopher.
    I don’t know if God has ever changed my mind, so I’m not a man of faith.
    Facts change constantly my mind, so I’m a schizophrenic of science.
    I've written a novel too.

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