Mauricio Quezada is a fashion stylist who lives and works in NYC. He is a graduate of Columbia University where he majored in English Literature and Art History. He is an avid reader and connoisseur of the American novel. His heroes are Dorothy Parker, Michael Cunningham, and Edith Wharton, among others. He’s woefully addicted to gummy bears.
Collected Stories by Lorrie Moore
Knopf released the definitive collection of Lorrie Moore’s short stories aptly titled, Collected Stories, to much acclaim in the spring of 2020. Moore is a writer’s writer and often cited by other master’s of the English language as the preeminent author working in American letters today. At a whopping 776 pages this tome has all her greatest hits from her previous collections, Self-Help, Bark, and—my personal favorite—Birds of America. There is nobody who commands as much authority, delicacy, humor, and wit over the English language as Moore. Her work offers comedic insight into heartbreaking tales of human suffering and yet she layers each story with a deep love and reverence for the plight of her characters.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Rankine’s book-length poem, Citizen: An American Lyric, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, PEN Open Book Award, and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Narrated from the second person, each vignette asks its reader to place themselves within uncomfortable scenarios that get at the heart of racial identity in America. Rankine’s evocative language is gorgeous, the alchemy of dreams, take for instance, “The past is a life sentence, a blunt instrument aimed at tomorrow.” ‘Nuff said.
Stories from the Tenants Downstairs by Sidik Fofana
If your travel plans include summer escapes make sure to get your hands on a copy of Sidik Fofana’s Stories from the Tenants Downstairs out August 2022 from Simon & Schuster. I can not wait for the much hyped release of this short story collection! I first came across Fofana’s work in The Sewanee Review which debuted two of his masterful pieces, The Rent Manual and The Okiedoke, both of which are to be included in Stories. The book follows the lives of the tenants that occupy the Banneker Homes, a low-income High Rise in Harlem as they fight against the clock in a race to beat the various societal structures that ensnare them. Each story examines our endless quest for validation—a pillar of the human condition— and our desire to rise above the expectations that incarcerate us.