Friday, June 12, 2009

What is Shanthi Sekaran reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Shanthi Sekaran, author of The Prayer Room (MacAdam Cage, 2009).

Her entry begins:
Since I began writing my own fiction, I’ve become a terrible reader. I am impatient, intolerant and slow. I often read phrases four times over, with varying degrees of attention, and I constantly question the author’s choices. Probably to my own detriment, I have no qualms about throwing a book behind the sofa and forgetting about it if it doesn’t enthrall me in the first chapter. My favorite books are the ones that grab me by the throat and make me breathless with the need to write, that make my heart race like I’ve had too much coffee. When a book does get me, I devote myself to it. I fall in love with it. I learn what I can from it. And then I file it, alphabetically, in my very narrow bookcase.

Nobody Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July

Nobody belongs here more than you: it was just what I needed to hear that day when I picked this book up in a Berkeley bookstore. It’s hard to explain the appeal of these short-shorts. They are, in some vague way, welcoming. They make me think of a beautiful woman sitting on a red-white picnic blanket, pouring me a glass of lemonade; and yet the stories themselves are about the lost, the abandoned, the befuddled. I never used to understand people who thought Morrissey was uplifting; now...[read on]
Shanthi Sekaran was born and raised in California, and now splits her time between Berkeley and London. A graduate of UC Berkeley and the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, she was first published in Best New American Voices 2004 (Harcourt).

Read an excerpt from The Prayer Room, and learn more about the author and her work at Shanthi Sekaran's website.

Writers Read: Shanthi Sekaran.

--Marshal Zeringue