Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832) – Frances Trollope (Librivox free audiobook)
This is the great complement to de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, likewise a panoramic account of life in America as observed by a foreigner. Only the foreigner in this instance is an upper-class English lady, fully prejudiced against the back country life she observes.
The Plains (1982) – Gerald Murnane
Couldn’t dig it, though I tried. Inland left me with a similar feeling of frustration, but that book had more fascinating imagery and the hint of drama.
Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking (2010) – Tan Lin
Until now I honestly thought Tan Lin and Tao Lin were the same author. I stand corrected.
Metamericana (2015) – Seth Abramson
Little bit disappointed by this.
Whereas (2017) – Long Soldier
I appreciate this. By now it’s been lauded in many of the more mainstream venues for criticism (NYT) and in award nominations, etc. Sure enough, that’s how it came onto my radar. As I saw someone tweet just now, “it’s amazing what an enormous PR budget can do for a book of poetry.” Many books of poetry of similar quality are doomed to obscurity, due to lack of publicity.