Saturday, December 3, 2022

Seven of the best books about the new West

Kay Chronister is the author of the collection Thin Places (2020). Her stories have appeared in Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, The Dark, and elsewhere, and her work has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Awards.

Her new novel is Desert Creatures.

At Lit Hub Chronister tagged seven "books that will take you on a literary tour of the new West: a place where neon sign graveyards abound, schools still take time off for the rodeo, and people bring their pet tortoises along when they evacuate for wildfires." One title on the list:
Lydia Millet, Dinosaurs

This meditative novel follows an orphaned trust-fund millionaire who relocates from Manhattan to Phoenix after a break-up, supposing that Arizona is “as different as you can get, in the lower forty-eight.” Once there, the formerly isolated Gil finds himself enfolded into the joys and obligations of living in community—within his neighborhood, at the women’s shelter where he works, and with the desert itself. As Gil develops into an avid birder and fledgling conservationist, Millet uses images of the relationships between communities of desert birds to mirror the compassionate, violent, and symbiotic bonds also formed between human beings.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue