Monday, June 10, 2019

Six books that inspired Kristen Arnett's first novel

Kristen Arnett is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter's 2015 Literary Award in Fiction, was runner-up for the 2016 Robert Watson Literary Prize at The Greensboro Review, and was a finalist for Indiana Review's 2016 Fiction Prize. She's a columnist for Literary Hub and her work has appeared or is upcoming at North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Electric Literature, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, Literary Hub, Volume 1 Brooklyn, OSU's The Journal, Catapult, Bennington Review, Portland Review, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her debut story collection, Felt in the Jaw, was published by Split Lip Press and was awarded the 2017 Coil Book Award.

Arnett's new novel is Mostly Dead Things.

At The Week magazine she tagged six books that inspired her first novel, including:
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison (1992)

As a regional writer I am always looking for work that centers place, and Allison's semi-autobiographical novel does this beautifully with South Carolina. The writing is raw and rich. It is a love letter to home full of pain and joy and heartbreak. This is the book that made me want to be a writer.
Read about another entry on the list.

Bastard Out of Carolina is among Stephen Graham Jones's twenty books as great today as they were in the 90s and Hanna McGrath's five favorite child narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue