Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Books You Have to Read

Patti Abbott tagged me to recommend a book that deserves more attention. Given my particular affection for short stories, the first book that came to mind was Spadework by just-named MWA Grandmaster Bill Pronzini. Pronzini's decision not to name his protagonist precluded him from building a reputation on attitude as too many fictional PIs have. As familiar as Nameless has become over the years, what jumps to mind about Pronzini's work is storytelling skill, and this 1996 collection from Crippen & Landru features every flavor of story.

I'd also like to recommend the Collected Poems of 2004 U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Justice. As with Pronzini, Justice's range and genuine voice appeal to me. As Pronzini helps me remember what a story is, Justice helps me remember what a poem is, equally invaluable to a working writer.

I pass this project on to Jim Winter for next Friday.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Odd as it sounds, I have read Justice's poems but not Prozini's short stories. I did start out writing poetry until I discovered I was really telling stories not writing poems. Thanks for playing today. And any week you are so inclined, give me the word and I'll link you.

Graham Powell said...

I was really, really glad to see Pronzini get the MWA Grand Master award. He's a really good novelist, but he's one of the best short-story writers of the past 40 years.

I just wish someone would put out a "Compleat Nameless" anthology. I have most of them in CASEFILE and SPADEWORK but I think there are a few out there I haven't read.