Bookseller at Seward Park
Ryan is convinced that Karl Marx had everything figured out and constantly anxious that he won't see the Philadelphia Flyers win a Stanley Cup in his lifetime. He enjoys literary fiction, cultural criticism and political philosophy, most things published through Semiotext(e) or Verso, Grace Jones, and an excessive intake of yerba mate.
Gide's prose effortlessly re-purposes Cubism as a disorienting, wryly humorous literary style. This book plays with the age old question of the relationship between the copy and the original, charting what Gide saw as the major struggle of his life - the weight of a decadent, obsessive queer desire upon his puritanical moral upbringing. Sweeping, dramatic, and completely genius.
Wojnarowicz should be on every bookshelf. A prominent AIDS activist (Wojnarowicz was famously sued for calling the conservative senator Jesse Helms a homophobic cannibal) and legend of the mythical 80's Lower East Side art scene, Wojnarowicz writes with the grace of James Baldwin, the overblown, uncouth attitude of Kathy Acker, and a heart wrenching rage that is his alone. This book is essential American history.
Fantastic, of course, as everything Bolano touched was. These stories are a shining example of his "infrarealista" style, blending hack surrealism, comically absurd pastiche, Marxist wanderings, and underground Latin American literary flashes: a cop rat woo's Kafka's Josephine, a Borges-wannabe Chilean millionaire retires to the pampas where he takes up hunting rabbits, etc. A must read from the master of Chilean literature.
Louis is at the forefront of a small group of critical and vibrant young writers, primarily concerned with re-appropriating the novel as a medium for depicting raw truths regarding contemporary violence and oppression. This book, his debut, has rightfully catapulted Louis into the literary limelight as France's most daring, and exciting, new voice - weaving autobiographical fiction with cutting prose and philosophical incitements, Louis excavates a challenging story on the experience of growing up gay while trapped in cycles of destitute poverty, state neglect, and a small town social climate beset with alcoholism and rampant fear. The only book I've ever re-read immediately after finishing - it's that good!