What are your Rumblr editors reading this week? Well…

Molly: I finished The Deathly Hallows this past week (my first day teaching) on the bus to school, crying. I was reading Sontag later, “Regarding the Pain of Others,” from my students’ textbook, and was struck when she says that there are some stories that make people cry every time, that repeated exposure does not necessarily numb a person—that it can heighten emotional impact, that it is a kind of ritual. Anyway, the Harry Potter portion of my summer has ended, and I am speeding ahead in real graduate school reading. In addition to my fiction workshop this semester, I am taking course on the medieval Chinese novel. Now we’re getting warmed up with stories from the T’ang dynasty: “The Story of Ying-Ying” and “Ren the Fox Fairy.” This course is thrilling. There is nothing like encountering a whole new* body of literature for the very first time.

* (to me)

ClaireI’m still reading Plague of Doves, as slowly as I can. I can’t even name what it is about this book that’s affecting me so much, but I feel completely consumed by the total loveliness of every single one of Louise Erdrich’s sentences. There are so many voices in this book and they’re all so alive, so good at creating whole histories and whole worlds. In between sections, I’m also reading Jenny Zhang’s poems in Dear Jenny We Are All Find—full of bodies and farts and really bright and surprising wisdom about living in a painful world. Totally different, equally wonderful and brilliant. 

LucyI am reading Moby Dick at last, and I am submerged in its boiling depths. Strangely, a stranger standing right in front of me on the subway was also reading it. We chatted and found ourselves wading within five pages of each other. If you’re out there, stranger, hold fast!