Excerpts Catapult Staff Picks
Reading recommendations straight from the shelves of the Catapult team.
I’m reading William Kennedy’s Ironweed , a 1983 novel that won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. It follows the life of a part-time grave digger with the gift of the gab, and occasionally gifts us the perspective of other characters in the cemetery, some living and some dead.
—Jonathan Lee, Senior Editor
I have just started Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz! And earlier this week I DEVOURED Maureen Goo’s Korean drama-inspired YA novel, I Believe in a Thing Called Love.
—Nicole Chung, Managing Editor, Web
I’m reading Assisted Living , a new Gary Lutz chapbook from Future Tense. It is incredibly Gary Lutz, by which I mean rewarding and fractured and perverse. I would throw away my life to follow Lutz to some terrifying dictatorial commune in the jungle. There will be a cruel irony in it, when I do—this book was a gift from my wife—but I feel like the hallucinogens and lack of potable water will be enough to distract me from that.
—Dustin Kurtz, Social Media Editor
I’m reading Andrés Barba’s Such Small Hands , translated by Lisa Dillman.
—Wah-Ming Chang, Managing Editor
Can you believe I’m just now reading my first Elena Ferrante?!? My Brilliant Friend lives up to every inch of hype. I also just finished Samantha Irby’s latest, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life . The essay, “Do You Guys Pay Your Fucking Bills or What?,” perfectly captures my own experience of being raised without any financial commonsense whatsoever, and reminds me again what a class-based privilege it is to have a budget, to save money. And if you haven’t read Irby’s first collection, Meaty (shout-out to indie Curbside Splendor!), you need to stop reading this roundup and go get yourself a copy ASAP.
—Jennifer Abel Kovitz, Associate Publisher
I am reading Penelope Lively’s 1987 Booker Prize winner—the incredibly lush and sexy Moon Tiger . As rich and heartbreaking as a 1980s soap opera, it follows the life of a young war journalist as she moves through many countries and lovers. If, like me, you are a sucker for sweeping narratives full of gorgeous sentences and staggering landscapes, pick up Moon Tiger immediately.
—Casey Gonzalez, Creative Project Manager; Associate Editor, Black Balloon
I read Maggie Nelson’s Jane: A Murder over the weekend. Maggie Nelson is the best, which sometimes feels like a boring opinion to have but, whatever, it’s true.
I’ve also been working my way through Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative Writing 1977-1997 , edited by Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian. This book is a brick. It doesn’t fit in my bag, but it does feature writing by some of my favorites including Kathy Acker, Chris Kraus, Laurie Weeks, Lynne Tillman, and a bunch of writers I’m only just discovering now.
—Allie Wuest, Editorial Assistant, Web
Siracusa by Delia Ephron.
—Morgan Jerkins, Contributing Editor, Web
Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker. This book is so good—a story of how women have to clean up (or not) after the men in their lives. It’s people learning who they are (my favorite kind of book) and it’s a really great read for the summer.
—Kelli Trapnell, Production Associate