Books I've Been Annotating, Pre-Residency II

So I’m headed off to my second MFA residency tomorrow out on (I suspect) rainy Whidbey Island, and in preparation I’m putting together my projected annotation list for the next quarter. (Footnotes: There’s another correspondence quarter from now till June, because SPU, being on the West Coast, does that weird quarter-instead-of-semester thing; part of each correspondence quarter is ten two-ish page writerly “annotations” on various books in my discipline, most of which I choose, some of which are chosen by my faculty mentor [presently Paula Huston, then, for my second year, Lauren Winner], and the program director, Greg Wolfe, who chooses common readings for each residency that everyone in every genre reads – you know what, if you’re confused, just go look at the program website.)

Right, so: I thought I’d post what I’ve got here. Asterisks indicate they were assigned by Paula or Greg.

First quarter annotations (submitted in December):

  1. *Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  2. *The Lady and the Monk, Pico Iyer
  3. Life Work, Donald Hall
  4. The Florist’s Daughter, Patricia Hampl
  5. The Discomfort Zone, Jonathan Franzen
  6. Maps and Legends, Michael Chabon
  7. An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis
  8. Looking Before and After, Alan Jacobs
  9. A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
  10. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace
  11. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  12. Blue Arabesque, Patricia Hampl

Second quarter annotations (just submitted last week):

  1. Tete-a-tete, Hazel Rowley
  2. *Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt
  3. Air Guitar, Dave Hickey
  4. The Best American Essays 2011, Edwidge Danticat (ed.)
  5. Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography, Amy Frykholm
  6. Pulphead, John Jeremiah Sullivan
  7. *For the Time Being, Annie Dillard
  8. *Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
  9. *King Lear, William Shakespeare
  10. *The Tempest, William Shakespeare

Some books I’m thinking about for the third quarter (which ends in June; assigned books will probably supplant some of these):

  1. Thinking the Twentieth Century, Tony Judt with Timothy Snyder
    (Just arrived and realized it’s half memoir, half history, which is so awesome it makes me grin)
  2. Let’s See, Peter Schjeldahl
    (Which I’ve been teaching; super fun.)
  3. The Broken Estate, James Wood
    (I like Wood’s criticism, and this is his early work)
  4. When I Was a Child I Read Books, Marilynne Robinson
    (Just arrived!!)
  5. Letters to a Young Contrarian, Christopher Hitchens
    (It’s time, and, so.)
  6. The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers
    (I shamefully have never read this, though I’ve referenced it.)
  7. Dakota, Kathleen Norris
    (I’ve read everything else she’s ever written.)

I’ve also been slowly working my way through Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, which will probably end up in a fall annotation, along with a Really Thick Book of Updike’s criticism.

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