To celebrate the summer of 2018, we are pleased to present an ongoing series of reading recommendations/reminiscences by Goose Lane authors past and present.
Today: Genevieve Scott (Catch My Drift)
This summer I'm focusing on books with themes to do with friendship, motherhood, or college life – a completely huge range – but each theme has some relevance to a book I'm working on now, so reading with this priority helps me feel OK about spending more time reading than writing this summer, at least so far.
Over the Canada Day weekend, I read Sarah Selecky's Radiant Shimmering Light, which takes a really interesting look at friendship in this age of instagram and put-yourself-first therapy speak. Can we all agree on what a friend is anymore? How to be one, how to have one? Through exploring old and new relationships, this book asks a lot of interesting questions about connection.
For the college stuff, I started with Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot and Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep (although admittedly that one takes place at a prep school). Both of these books are quick, bright reads that I've been hearing about for ages but somehow I hadn't gotten around to yet. I ate them both up. Next I read Elif Batuman's The Idiot, which is the funniest book I've read in a long time, and also one of the sharpest: she really does a cringingly great job of young adult awkwardness.
In all three books, I was struck by these late teens/early twenty-somethings who are so smart and sophisticated on the one hand, but so naïve and fumbling on the other. It's such a particular time of life, and I don't think it's possible to articulate how it looks or feels while it's happening, and it's probably even harder to recall that stage with real honesty after the fact. I think we must be wired to forget how painfully graceless we were, but Batuman feels really tapped back into it.
In terms of the motherhood stuff, I am about fifteen pages from finishing Sheila Heti's Motherhood, a book I've been letting linger because I'm enjoying it so much. Heti gets into ideas about art vs. parenting vs. happiness that resonated so deeply, felt so familiar, that my reaction was physical at times. I think it's a huge accomplishment: an intense book in many ways, but written with this diary lightness that takes a lot of the density out of the bigness of its questions.
About Genevieve Scott
Genevieve Scott is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA. Her short fiction has been published in literary journals in Canada and the United Kingdom, including the New Quarterly, the White Wall Review, and the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, among others. Her short films have been screened at eleven film festivals throughout the US, Canada, England, and Ireland. Scott grew up in Toronto and currently lives in Southern California, although she will be returning to Toronto in the spring of 2018. She is a creative writing mentor to at-risk teen girls in Los Angeles with the non-profit WriteGirl. Catch My Drift is her debut novel.