Colson Whitehead: ZZ Packer & Kevin Young

With the release of his new book, The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death, Colson Whitehead did a comical Q&A for The New York Times. Read a quick snippet and add a new book to your reading list:

WWhitehead, Young, & Packerhat books are currently on your night stand?

I’ve been dipping into “Book of Hours,” by Kevin Young. I’m honored to have him as a friend, and grateful he’s such a gifted poet. His new book is a wrenching investigation of what it is to be a father — to lose one’s own, to raise a child in turn — and it’s superb, as usual.

What’s your favorite book to teach? 

One favorite is “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,” by ZZ Packer, toggling between the stories “Brownies” and “The Ant of the Self,” depending on my mood. She’s nearing completion of her first novel, which is very exciting. And “Autobiography of Red,” by Anne Carson, even if it has no relation whatsoever to what the class is about. Especially if. I’d love to hip Red to some Joy Division records; I think he’d get a lot out of them. (Read more . . .)

Happy reading, y’all.

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