Critical Mass

Sean Wilsey on What to Read This Summer

By Sean Wilsey

The month of June kicks off Reading the World. As part of this project, the NBCC has asked writers from around the globe to recommend a book from beyond these shores. We asked memoirist Sean Wilsey, author of “Oh the Glory of It All,” what he had to recommend. Here is what he said:

My rec would be JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE FLIES AND OTHER TRAVELS by Aldo Buzzi. This is a collection of hard-to- categorize essays, centered mainly around the author's principal
preoccupations: food, philosophy, travel, 19th Century Russian lit. The the best one isn't the title essay (which somebody at the US publisher must have promoted) but the first one, which is the title essay in Italian: CHEKHOV IN SONDRIO (Sondrio being the author's home town). If you like cabbage, Moscow, Doystoyevsky, and virtuosic non- linear thinking (a reader on Amazon describes the experience of keeping up with Buzzi as “reading jazz”) you will fall in love. I'm going to go reread it.

–Sean Wilsey