Staff Picks May 20, 2020

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori (Grove Press)

Minahil’s pick: “This is probably one of the weirdest books I’ve ever encountered—full of irony and infuriating moments. A short translation, this English debut from one of Japan’s most famous contemporary writers is about a socially awkward woman who finds her life’s purpose in the hum of her convenience store job.”


Othello by Shakespeare (Online at MIT)

Taylor’s pick: “Why? I don't know. Because if you've never read any Shakespeare before, then take inspiration from this crackin’ poem from Inua Ellams. Plus: what better time than now?”

A Landscape of Events by Paul Virilio, translated by Julie Rose (MIT Press)

Sunny’s pick: "Recently, I’ve been revisiting and thinking of these essays more in line with Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine and the way both scholars articulate “an event.” Like most of Virilio’s work, this book touches on cinema, media spectacle, and war—specifically the Gulf War—with almost prophetic clarity."

Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin, translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich (NYRB)

Corinne’s pick: “An intimate epistolary novel that, on the surface, seems an autobiographical excavation of the narrator’s own person in the wake of a lost relationship, only to fold in on itself in order to investigate the work of creation and the boundary between fiction and truth, relation and transformation in the narrative process.”

Unforbidden Pleasures by Adam Phillips (FSG

Gabe’s pick: “Phillips uses Oscar Wilde’s writing on socialism and creativity as a vehicle to cruise through questions of liberation, taboo, the illusory nature of SELFHOOD, and how to live together—all through a poetic, psychoanalytic lens.”


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