Friday, August 19, 2022

Nine novels that consider the meaning of life by confronting death

Coco Picard is a writer, cartoonist, and curator. She is the author of the novel The Healing Circle (2022), which won the Red Hen Press Women's Prose Prize, as well as The Chronicles of Fortune (2017), which was nominated for a DiNKy Award. Art criticism and comics have otherwise appeared under the name Caroline Picard in Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Paris Review, and Seven Stories Press, among others. She started the Green Lantern Press in 2005, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute, and was a Bookends Fellow at Stony Brook University.

At Electric Lit Picard tagged nine novels that don't fear the reaper, including:
Activities of Daily Living by Lisa Hsiao Chen

I am so excited about this book—another debut novel, this time by the author of Mouth, a poetry collection and recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2018. Activities of Daily Living explores the parallel efforts of Alice, who is Chinese American, to care for her slowly declining father—a white Vietnam veteran with dementia—and study the Taiwanese American performance artist Tehching Hsieh’s durational performance work. When Alice isn’t thinking about one man, she is thinking about the other, as though they each might reciprocally inform her understanding of the other, begging the question about private performances of care and the labor of well-being.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue