In these tumultuous times, Mother Jones thought it wise to ask some favorite authors to tell us what they are reading, and why — more than two dozen authors, bloggers, essayists, poets, comic artists have responded with the books and treatises that “bring solace and understanding in this age of political rancor.”

Here are a few of the excerpts:

Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed
In times of great anxiety, what could be better than The Lord of the Rings? A horrible tyrant. An obsession with power. Nine dead guys running errands for him. Small folks doing their bit. It’s okay to have pointy ears. And it comes out all right at the end. Or sort of all right…

Ana Castillo, Black Dove
Worth adding to any library is The Wind Is Spirit: The Life, Love, and Legacy of Audre Lorde, a collection of essays compiled by Gloria I. Joseph, Lorde’s romantic partner at the time of her death. It brings together memories from more than 50 contributors—such as Sonia Sanchez and Angela Davis—and reminds us not only of the significance of Lorde’s work but also of the importance of a writer’s perseverance in the face of political adversity…

Karen Russell, Sleep Donation
Because, if everything we write and read becomes dire and reactionary, Trump will have truly won, here’s a book that celebrates the radical freedom of the imagination: Cosmicomics, by Italo Calvino is brimming with recombinatory energy, play and joy. Light by which to see into many different futures. 

Read more at Mother Jones

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