Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Local authors suggest books to read in strange, unsettling times

Here are Stewart’s reading suggestions:

Stewart O’Nan is the author of “Emily Alone” and “Henry, Himself.” He loves “Pittsburgh” by Frank Santoro, calling it “a gorgeous moving graphic memoir of growing up in Swissvale.” He also likes “Shopping Mall” by Matthew Newton, describing it as “a more analytical book-length personal essay exploring the shopping mall as a shared American experience, focusing on the author’s personal relationship with our own Monroeville Mall. Both make present worlds we as Pittsburghers know that have since vanished.”

If you can’t obtain those titles, Mr. O’ Nan wrote, “I’d recommend reading the big book on your shelf that you’ve tried to read several times but just couldn’t get through. ‘Ulysses,’ ‘Moby Dick,’ ‘Invisible Man,’ ‘A Little Life.’ Now’s the time, now that you have time. Don’t let that book beat you!”

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13 Essential Pandemic Novels

Check out Publishers Weekly’s 13 Essential Pandemic Novels.  Read on and please stay safe!

A Prayer for the Dying

The first thing to like about Stewart O’Nan’s slim, gruesome novel is that its hero wears three hats—he’s the local sheriff, undertaker and priest in the town of Friendship, Wisc. That combo becomes a particularly tough role when the outpost is consumed by a brutal epidemic that is killing the locals in shocking fashion. Part-Western, part horror story, this post-Civil War tale, like too much of O’Nan’s work, is an underrated gem.

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