Thinking about books that could relate to my thesis and be suitable for my bibliography, this is what I came up with for a good summer reading list:
1. The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
I am interested in his portrayal of the suburbs, and I liked "The Swimmer" when I read it in undergrad.
2. Because They Wanted to by Mary Gaitskill
I read "Tiny Smiling Daddy" in a anthology in undergrad and when I reread it last summer, I was move to tears. Her portrayal of family relationships there is something that I aspire to. I'm also interested in her portrayals of alternative sexual behaviors.
3. The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
My professor mentioned her several times during our Readings in Fiction class and was compared to Susan Minot.
4. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
I'd like to read a more contemporary portrays of the suburbs. From what I understand, this book also deals with family issues and youthful sexual experimentation. I liked "Boys."
5. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
I loved The Powerbook and her portrayals of gender and ambiguity. This is a whole novel that doesn't reveal the narrator's gender.
6. World and Other Places by Jeanette Winterson
I'd also like to see how Winterson crafts her style in short story form.
7. Distortions by Ann Beattie
Some professor in undergrad mentioned her as one of the first fiction writer's to include brand names in stories.
8. Monkeys by Susan Minot
I loved Lust, which I read this semester. I feel like her portrayals of female characters are similar to some of mine. I admire her brevity and her ability to establish real personalities in very short stories.
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
I'm interested in the way she includes characters from one self-contained story to the next. I was also really struck by her language in what I read so far from this book.