Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What to Read Next: Don DeLillo

I've been wanting to write about how to decide what to read next, how, when. During my many years of teaching, of working on my book, I was always behind; I always knew precisely what I needed to read next--and after that--for class, for planning my next class, for my book. The book is done. I’m still on maternity leave, not teaching this year. I can read whatever I want. How to decide?

There are so many exciting brand new novels. And then there is the category of books from the past decade or so that I’ve purchased with some enthusiasm but haven’t yet read. And then there are books, second and third books, by writers whom I admire but haven’t read all of. And all the classics that I never did make time for. Or maybe I should dip back into the Indian novels I used to love. Or continue reading African novels. Or read some of the works of forgotten women modernists whose books I know I’d like. Or read some Japanese literature. Or...

But while a more thoughtful version of this meditation awaits, there was the problem this week of what to read next.

A problem immediately solved by the appearance, in my mailbox, of a advance copy of the new DeLillo. I am really interested in novels about September 11. I’ve never read DeLillo (until today). This book is both. Thanks to a slow commute and a fast, moving narrative, I’m sixty pages in. It’s great. Falling Man is clearly what to read next…

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the first paragraph? DeLillo has a way with first paragraphs, and I can't wait until June to read it. Please indulge me. Please.

Alistair said...

Yeah, Delillo rules. I want to know the first paragraph too.

Anne said...

I gave my copy to a fan who deserves it more than me--I asked him to post the first paragraph to satisfy you. It's a great book!!!