Monday, June 10, 2019

Six books that inspired Kristen Arnett's new 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:
My Body Is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta (2014).

This is a deep dive into the body and mind of a singular author who manipulates text on the page to almost tactile effect. She writes powerfully about memory, yes, but she also reminds readers what it's like to inhabit a body. The essays in the book are interspersed with historical material about the Cascade tribe, one of two indigenous tribes in Washuta's heritage.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue