Recommended Reading

The Art of the American Snapshot: 1888-1978, by Sarah Greenough and Diane Waggoner (Princeton University Press)

On July 9, 1896, the New York Times ran a story alleging that the mayor of Long Island City was engaged in illicit activities. To provide evidence, the paper ran some photos, described by journalist Anthony Comstock as “snapshots.” Apparently, this is the first time “snapshot” was used to describe a photograph.

The Bad Girl, a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa (Farrar Straus Giroux)

In The Bad Girl, Ricardo Somocurcio tells the story of his lifelong love for Lily the Chilean girl, Comrade Arlette, Madame Robert Arnoux, Mrs. David Richardson, Kuriko, Otilita, and his wife Mrs. Somocurcio – the serial identities of the bad girl. She first appears as teenaged Lily, moved to Lima with her family from Santiago.

I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing, essays by Lucia Perillo (Trinity University Press)

In “From the Bardo Zone,” Lucia Perillo writes about visiting a creek where salmon come to spawn and die. “Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for the people who push me out when I bog down in the mud,” she says.

Sleeping With Houdini, prose poems by Nin Andrews (BOA Editions Ltd)

Nin Andrews writes entertaining, personality-driven prose poems pretending to tell the candid truth about their subjects, finally. The work isn’t as “scandalous” and “outrageous” as one of her blurbers insists, since her sensibility has much in common with movies and TV where irreverence, suggestive or graphic, is a pop staple. But there’s a shrewd calculation in her offhandedness.

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