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December 26, 2015

Reading list: Michael Paterniti

2015 speaker Michael Paterniti recommends some of his favorite books, both fiction and non-fiction, that a writer could learn from.


Michael Paterniti, winner of a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing and author of New York Times bestselling books The Telling Room and Driving Mr. Albert, recommends some of his favorite books, both fiction and non-fiction, that a writer could learn from.

1. “In the American Grain”, William Carlos Williams. It’s this really interesting exercise in choosing key figures from (American) history and kind of writing their mythologies. But it’s the way he does it that’s worth noting.

2. I often go back to Milan Kundera’s “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” just to see how much you can do in compact spaces.

3. Joanne Beard’s “Boys of My Youth.” is another gem.

4. John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley in Search of America”.

5. Isabel Fonseca’s “Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey

See also Jacqui Banaszynski’s and Laurie Hertzel’s lists from previous years.

Michael Paterniti talked at #Story15 about projecting stories. Read a transcript of his speech here.