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Kyle Minor’s “Literary Pillars”

1. American Pastoral, Philip Roth
2. “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” Katherine Anne Porter
3. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson
4. Bats Out of Hell, Barry Hannah
5. Selected Poems, Wislawa Szymborska
6. Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
7. The King James Bible
8. The Stories of J F Powers
9. The Collected Works of William Shakespeare
10. Going to Meet the Man, James Baldwin
11. “Lust,” Susan Minot
12. The Never Ending, Andrew Hudgins
13. Sabbath’s Theater, Philip Roth
14. The Violent Bear It Away, Flannery O’Connor
15. Desires, John L’Heureux
16. The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore
17. Questions for Ecclesiastes, Mark Jarman
18. The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton
19. Seventeen & J, Kenzaburo Oe
20. “The Paperhanger,” William Gay
21. All Things, All at Once, Lee K. Abbott
22. The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
23. In the Lake of the Woods, Tim O’Brien
24. The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You, Frank Stanford
25. Suttree, Cormac McCarthy
26. For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, Nathan Englander
27. Airships, Barry Hannah
28. Open Secrets, Alice Munro
29. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera
30. The Collected Stories of William Trevor
31. Selected Stories, Andre Dubus
32. All Aunt Hagar’s Children, Edward P. Jones
33. Friend of My Youth, Alice Munro
34. Knockemstiff, Donald Ray Pollock
35. Nightwork, Christine Schutt
36. Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate., Johannes Goransson
37. The Necropastoral, Joyelle McSweeney
38. Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
39. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
40. Mao II, Don DeLillo
41. The Dew Breaker, Edwidge Danticat
42. Rabbit Tetralogy, John Updike
43. “The Apology,” Stephen Dixon
44. 60 Stories, Donald Barthelme
45. How They Were Found, Matt Bell
46. American Salvage, Bonnie Jo Campbell
47. The Human Stain, Philip Roth
48. “Good Old Neon,” David Foster Wallace
49. The Collected Self-Published Volumes of Bill Knott
50. “The Emperor of Ice-Cream,” Wallace Stevens & “In a Station of the Metro,” Ezra Pound
 Editor’s Note: This list is part of Big Other’s Tribute to William H. Gass’s 88th Birthday.

4 thoughts on “Kyle Minor’s “Literary Pillars”

  1. You people in the HTML crowd have a bad habit of sucking each other’s cocks in public. Matt Bell sandwiched between Barthelme and Roth? That’s fucking gross, dude.

    1. Hi, Dale.

      I’m not sure what the source is of your abusive comment here. But Kyle’s choices make absolute sense to me, since his list is a response to my call for submissions:

      Having Gass’s abovementioned essay and his upcoming 88th birthday (which falls today) in mind, I was inspired to reach out to my favorite writers, editors, and publishers, asking them to send me a list, annotated or otherwise, of their own “literary pillars,” viz., books that have most impacted their own writing. I invited them to define “literary pillars” in whatever way they wish, welcoming them to comment on each “pillar.”

      Like all the other lists, Kyle’s is necessarily idiosyncratic, providing insight into Kyle’s work and his thinking.

      By the way, Matt Bell’s book is great. I wrote a little bit about it, here.

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