Summer Reading: Associate Fiction Editor Katherine Evans

This was an extremely eventful summer for me—I got married, went honeymooning in Kauai, and visited with family and friends back in my home state of Virginia. My husband and I are also in the process of moving out of his place in Los Angeles—in fact, I am writing this post while surrounded by boxes and crumpled newspaper. You can probably understand why my reading list is mostly a hodgepodge of books I’ve been meaning to get to and stories I’m planning on assigning for my creative writing course this fall. I revisited lots of old favorites by Ron Hansen, Flannery O’Connor, Richard Ford, Amy Hempel, Breece D’J Pancake, and Mary Robison to name just a few. When I wasn’t agonizing over which short stories to teach this fall (I can’t choose them all?), I read (and in some cases re-read) these wonderful novels and collections, in no particular order:

  1. The Maid’s Version, Daniel Woodrell
  2. Long Man, Amy Greene
  3. Friend of My Youth, Alice Munro
  4. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
  5. The Moons of Jupiter, Alice Munro
  6. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Ron Rash
  7. The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
  8. Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor

As you can probably tell, I went on a bit of an Alice Munro bender. I wholeheartedly recommend that you do the same. I’ve also just started reading Josh Weil’s novel The Great Glass Sea. I absolutely loved his novella The New Valley, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting this debut and I’m pleased to report that so far it’s wondrous—it’s at once futuristic and reminiscent of Russian folklore and wholly original. In terms of movie viewing, I’m sad to say that I just haven’t hit the theater much these past few months (in all fairness, movie tickets in Los Angeles are pricey). I did get around to seeing Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves. Most importantly, I’m caught up onGames of Thrones and now understand why my husband was so depressed after viewing The Red Wedding (never forget!).

Katherine Evans (née Norris) is a second year MFA fiction candidate at The Ohio State University and an associate fiction editor for The Journal. Her writing was recently recognized as a finalist in Narrative magazine’s Winter 2014 Story Contest and shortlisted for the 2014 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest.