(Photo: Steve Goldstein)
This summer I am diving into a mix of classics, adolescent lit, and a taste of nonfiction—plus the work of a couple of artists. Most of these are “sparring” books, so I can shape up for a new young adult novel project. Most likely:
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Childhood and Other Neighborhoods by Stuart Dybek
The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thúy
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Natasha by David Bezmozgis
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Sky Train by Canyon Sam
The artists: William Kentridge, Kandinsky, and Jasper Johns.
If this doesn’t do it, I’ll just gaze at the seashells off of North Beach and write a poem.
Juan Felipe Herrera won the 2008 NBCC Award for Poetry for Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (University of Arizona Press). The son of migrant farmworkers, he was born in Fowler, California, and has published more than twenty books. He holds the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Department of Creative Writing at UC-Riverside.