Boris Fishman ’01
Boris Fishman ’01 (Rob Liguori)
One book held me so hard I barely went outside for three days: Peter Godwin’s When A Crocodile Eats the Sun, a heartbreaking account of his father’s decline alongside the decline of their beloved and native Zimbabwe. Godwin is that rarest of writers: A master craftsman whose work is also profoundly moving. He’s also a former Princeton professor. I recently read Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child, about a bad egg in an otherwise decent family, and am still rattling.
Fishman is the author of the novel A Replacement Life . His new novel, Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo , comes out in March.
Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06
Dan-el Padilla Peralta ’06 (Courtesy Dan-el Padilla Peralta)
Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is an engrossing depiction of a marriage from two perspectives. It is masterful in the craft of its sentences, the architecture of its plot, the dexterity of its classical allusions.
Shea Serrano’s The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed is a gorgeously illustrated, witty, and often pointed dissection of the genre.
Padilla is the author of Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League.
Alice Eve Cohen ’76
Alice Eve Cohen ’76 (Janet Charles Photography)
As a memoirist, I’m fascinated by fiction that reads like memoir and memoir that reads like fiction. Two years after first reading A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, I still dip into it on a regular basis, savoring the language and trying to unravel its mysteries. A woman named Ruth (like the author) finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox on a beach in the Pacific Northwest, probably washed up by the 2011 tsunami. Inside the lunchbox is the diary of a 16-year-old Japanese girl with a fabulous imagination, sardonic wit, and suicidal fantasies.
I was already a fan of the new musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s book, when I read her graphic novel-memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. With lush language and beautifully detailed cartoon panels, Bechdel draws the reader into her story of a lesbian cartoonist looking back at her childhood to try to understand her complicated, closeted gay father. Heartbreaking, funny, and profound.
Cohen’s most recent book is the memoir The Year My Mother Came Back. Continue reading