This morning I found out that Victor LaValle has a new novel out. I read Big Machine two years ago, I think, and it was weird and strange and interesting, so I'm probably going to read The Devil in Silver when it comes out in August.
Are there any other new/upcoming books I'm looking forward to? I'm not sure. Peter Carey has a new one out, and I like Peter Carey well enough though I haven't read his last two so I don't know about this one. We'll see what Mighty Reader says about it. I think The Chemistry of Tears features an android. Cybernetics are cool, apparently. But that's the end of my list. I can't think of anyone else's newest release I'm dying to read. Hmm.
I just read Michelle Davidson Argyle's The Breakaway, which pubbed not long ago. I'm about to read Davin Malasarn's The Pagani Project, which is so new that it doesn't have a publisher yet. I'm going to read a Colm Tobin novel soon, and a W.G. Sebald book, and a couple of John Hawkes novels, but none of that last group is a new novel. They're recent, or recent compared to Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Chekhov or Nabokov, I suppose. I think I have a healthy portion of 20th-century lit in my reading diet, don't I? But that's not really the question.
The question, at least a question I'm asking myself today, is if I read enough current literature. Do I read enough books that are being written today, by living authors? How much is enough? Isn't it incumbent on living writers to read other living writers? If so, why? I don't know. I will not fall into the trap of thinking that current writers are inferior to the greats of the past, but I'm not sure I recognize the greats of the present. I used to think I'd be one of the greats of the present, but I know better now.
Do I have expectations of the literature of Now? Do I want books written today to be a certain type of book? I don't think so. I want to be pleasantly surprised, that's all. I want to fall in love. Modern literature, at best, seems to offer an "irritated in a good way" sort of experience, but that's not enough.
Anyway, I like Victor LaValle, so I'll bet I will enjoy his new one this fall, and that'll be nice for me.