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Jeremy Noel-Tod's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Jeremy Noel-Tod recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Jeremy Noel-Tod's favorite book recommendations of all time.



An American Lyric

A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative...
Recommended by Cheryl Strayed, Jeremy Noel-Tod, and 2 others.

Cheryl StrayedA really important book for us to be reading right now. (Source)

Jeremy Noel-TodObviously, it’s been admired and acclaimed, but I do feel the general reception of it has underplayed its artfulness. Its technical subtlety and overall arrangement has been neglected, because it has been classified as a kind of documentary work. (Source)

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Short prose forms are elusive to define--one writer's prose poem is another's flash fiction or brief essay. Rather than quibble, Short opts for inclusiveness. Here is a dazzling array: 100s of pieces (under 1250 words) from 24 Western countries, written over five centuries by more than 200 contributors, including major authors of every era. Fables, histories, aphorisms, anecdotes, faux dictionary entries, a faux job application, hint fiction, lists, tableaus, meditations, chants, rants, and much more. Intensely pleasurable.

Contributors include: Montaigne, von...
Recommended by Jeremy Noel-Tod, and 1 others.

Jeremy Noel-TodI’ve never met Alan Ziegler, but I feel a lot of sympathy with him, because this anthology is the closest thing to what I was trying to do in mine. I also admire him because when confronted with this question—where does the prose poem begin, and how do you define it?—he actually opens it up more and says, ‘No, what I’m interested in is this perhaps even more elusive mode which is the short prose... (Source)

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Unfinished Ode to Mud


Recommended by Jeremy Noel-Tod, and 1 others.

Jeremy Noel-TodUnfinished Ode to Mud is perhaps my favorite translation of Ponge, although there are a number of other good ones. In the history of the prose poem, there’s a case for saying that that Ponge brings it to a kind of perfection. (Source)

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Tender Buttons

The Corrected Centennial Edition

The MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions has awarded Tender Buttons: The Corrected Centennial Edition its seal designating it an MLA Approved Edition.
2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the original publication of Gertrude Stein's groundbreaking modernist classic, Tender Buttons. This centennial edition is the first and only version to incorporate Stein's own handwritten corrections—found in a first-edition copy at the University of Colorado—as well as corrections discovered among her papers at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. Editor Seth Perlow has...
Recommended by Jeremy Noel-Tod, and 1 others.

Jeremy Noel-TodTender Buttons in particular was the book that made her notorious. She knew that there was something about her writing that fascinated people, and it fascinated them partially because it irritated them. But it irritated them because they were sort of attracted to it, without knowing why. It irritates the rational part of the mind which expects to be able to explain things. (Source)

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"This may be the most beautiful book in the world, lighted from within and somehow embodying all forms of literature." - Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
The modernist masterpiece that is Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations has been given new life with the publication of John Ashbery's "dazzling" ( The Economist ) new translation, widely hailed as one of the literary events of the year. Presented with French text in parallel and a preface by its translator, Ashbery's rendering powerfully evokes the glittering, kaleidoscopic beauty of the original
Recommended by Jeremy Noel-Tod, and 1 others.

Jeremy Noel-TodThey have this very mysterious, elusive, hallucinatory quality. They’re the product of what Rimbaud said he wanted to do as a poet: the systematic derangement of the senses. But the amazing thing about them is that they are so lucid. T S Eliot called the effect on the reader an instant and simple impression. (Source)

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