Literary Finds of the Month (March 2018)

You know how after you finish reading a great book, you just want to share it with someone? Well, this is like the online version of that where I get to share all my favorite lit finds from the previous month. The cream of the crop, right here, at no additional charge to you.

In Short

Mostly I’ve been reading novels and some nonfiction, but the following short stories grabbed me:

Thanks to the brief bio in Madeliene Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, I came across The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. Billed as “the richest prize [£30,000] for a single short story in the English language,” the award covers some heavy hitters. Links to previous years’ award-winning stories can be found by following the link.

Fiction from the Mother Country

Okay, so I’m only half-Italian, but that still didn’t stop my heart from aching when they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Some solace was found in this list of 15 Contemporary Italian Writers You Should Read (who aren’t Elena Ferrante). The write-ups are condense, but informative, and one of the mentions is actually a kind of guerrilla writing collective that goes by the name of Wu Ming. Pair these with a nice chianti, but hold the fava beans! (You should read Ferrante, too, if you haven’t.)

Pissed Off Poets

What happens when a guardian of culture runs smack dab up against populism? My guess would be a fractured nose, but in this case, we’re talking about Rebecca Watts’s PN Review piece, “The Cult of the Noble Amateur,” taking to task the publishing industry for celebrating personality over quality/talent. I don’t pretend to keep up with the poetry world (professional, academic, or otherwise), but to say she ruffled a few feathers would be an understatement.

A Prize with a Consciousness

Now in just its second year, the Republic of Consciousness Prize announced it’s 2018 short list. Dealing exclusively with independent and small presses, this award tends to unearth some true gems (based on some reviewers whose opinions I respect). I put together a list of the past two years’ longlisters here. The winner will be announced this month.





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