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Storyfort Summer 2019 Reading List: Janalyn Guo

Happy summer friends! Nothing’s better than reading a good book on a nice summer day. Got too many books to choose from? Storyfort 2019 fabulist author Janalyn Guo gave us the scoop on some of her favorites. Janalyn’s list is filled with beautifully strange and dream-like fiction perfect for your summer reading.

Discover your new favorite summer read handpicked by Janalyn Guo below:

DIALOGUES IN PARADISE BY CAN XUE

“I was searching for a contemporary Chinese writer that wasn’t writing the usual post-Mao era realist story. I knew I found a gem when I stumbled upon her short story “Soap Bubbles in the Dirty Water,” which starts with the sentence: ‘My mother has melted into a basin of soap bubbles.’ I love her imagistic, dreamy, and madness-filled fiction. “

 
 
 

 

THE BATHROOM BY JEAN-PHILIPPE TOUSSAINT

“It’s hard to pick just one of his books, so I’ll go with this one. The Bathroom is about a man who decides to live out his days in his bathroom (though the plan gets thwarted). I love this tiny book so much. It’s absurd and deadpan, lighthearted but also profound, very much an ‘infinitesimal novel’ that captures both the big things and the minutiae of life.”

 
 

 

THE ICE PALACE BY TARJEI VESAAS

“I was drawn to the spare child-like prose and and how so much tension bubbles up under the surface of language. The ice palace itself is so unforgettable. Rooms within rooms within rooms of strange green light. This is nature writing I envy.”

 
 
 
 

 

THE GIRL IN THE FLAMMABLE SKIRT BY AIMEE BENDER

“I came across Aimee Bender’s fabulist stories as a freshman in college, and they opened up a world of possibility to me: a total departure from realism into a much more interesting space (in my mind) that felt more immediate and subconscious.”

 
 
 
 

 

ICELAND BY JIM KRUSOE

“This is a wonderfully deadpan book that tests the limits of plot. It was really useful to me when I first started writing, like a book that granted me permission to try anything. What holds my attention is the language. The writing is poetic; the images littered throughout the book are uncanny and strange enough that you’ll never forget them.”

 
 
 

 

Storyfort will be bringing Janalyn and some of her fellow Salt Lake City writers back to Boise for an SLC showcase in 2020! More details to be announced.

Find more of Janalyn’s amazing work, reviews, and future events at janalynwrites.com.

KEEP READING