Scanlan, Heti & Chin

I started and finished these three books last week during my artist residency at Hewnoaks. Each was unique, incredible, and relevant to my current projects and state of mind.

Aug 9 Fog // Kathryn Scanlan

Scanlan poetically rearranges the diary of an 86-year-old woman that she found at an estate sale more than fifteen years ago. An experimental study on language, time & loss. V compelling to my erasure-minded self. My favorite passage (p.102):

Ever where glare of ice. We didn’t sleep to good My pep has left me.

Motherhood // Sheila Heti

Heti meditates on her experience(s) of motherhood. Felt physically ill many times while reading this book because it hit so close to home. Has me considering how I think about women who have children and how they might think about me, with none. Just so much underlining. From page 239:

How hard it is to understand what the other has done—when it looks to me like she has been stolen, and when it looks to her like I have stalled. We both look so cowardly and so brave. The other one seems to have everything—and the other one seems to have nothing at all.

My Life With Things: The Consumer Diaries // Elizabeth Chin

In this autoethnography, Chin shares field notes on the physical objects she feels compelled to acquire, collect, and showcase. Individual, self-contained entries/essays on objects are bookended by two longer, more scholarly/academic pieces about consumerism and capitalism. Learned about Marx in a very accessible way. Lots of thoughts re: work ethic, family, money, inheritance, public presentation of self, guilt & shame around what/when/where/how we buy. The notes on process are fantastic & I think my new project may be partially autoethnographic? Relevant (p.68):

I’m afraid to work less mostly because I’m not sure who I am if I’m not working, working, working.

I highly recommend all three—check your public library or buy them from anywhere that’s not Amazon.