This book will break your heart and then put it back together again.Recommended by Milo D.
If you liked the TV show Lost, you might like this book. It features a host of interconnected characters, not always honorable, but definitely entertaining. Recommended by Maya M.
One of the great poets of the latter half of the 20th century, Celan was a Romanian Jew who survived the Holocaust. His poetry is a difficult and harrowing attempt to reckon with the lived experience of genocide. In a sense, many of his poems can be read as attempts to give voice to the bodiless dead: language itself is compressed and fragmented into gnostic observations, neologisms, and an intensely tragic personal symbolism, all of which seem... (read more)Recommended by Noah L.
Raymond Queneau's brilliant 1947 classic could have just as easily been titled Achievements of Ingenuity. Written more than a decade before he would cofound the "Workshop of Potential Literature" (Oulipo), Exercises in Style is one of the preeminent examples (and executions) of constrained writing. Beginning with a short account of an entirely inconsequential event, Queneau tells the same episode 99 times, but each... (read more)Recommended by Jeremy G.
Ebullient to those already under the Oulipian spell and likely befuddling to those ingenuity intolerant, Daniel Levin Becker's Many Subtle Channels is a fascinating, engaging, and well-researched account of Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (translating loosely as the "workshop for potential literature"), a collective of mostly French writers and mathematicians that employ(ed) a range... (read more)Recommended by Jeremy G.
Chicano/Apache poet Jimmy Santiago Baca served six years in federal prison (where he learned to read and write) before eventually winning the International Poetry Slam championship. He has since gone on to compose poems, short stories, novels, essays, and a screenplay. Selected Poems (a bilingual edition featuring poems translated into Spanish alongside their original English) is an absolutely devastating collection. Drawn from seven... (read more)Recommended by Jeremy G.