1-4. The Stone Book Quartet, by Alan Garner
“The Stone Book,” “Granny Reardun,” “The Aimer Gate,” “Tom Fobble’s Day”. These four novellas are among the most remarkable works of the 20th century. Ostensibly children’s books, they come closer to being Thomas Hardy filtered through a Modernist sensibility. Spanning roughly 80 years, each novella taking place on one pivotal day in the life of a young member of the same family, The Stone Book Quartet is that rarest of things, a virtually perfect work of verbal imagination.
5. The Bookshop, by Penelope Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald is as lean and perfect as Garner. Humorous (if often in a very dark way), suspicious of those who consider themselves arbiters, unwilling to sweeten life’s darknesses.
6. Land of the Snow Men, by George Belden (aka Norman Lock)
Polar exploration becomes intellectual and imaginative recreation in yet another of Lock’s amazing works.
Cooper Renner edits the online magazine elimae. Mosefolket, his new and selected poems (published under the name Cooper Esteban), was released last year by Alhambra/Ravenna Press. He writes the “In Dissent column” at Web del Sol. Find him HERE.