We asked a range of authors, artists, and poets to suggest the books that bring them solace or understanding in this age of political rancor. Two dozen or so responded. Here’s what the celebrated author and poet Ana Castillo had to share.
Latest book: Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me
Also known for: So Far From God
Reading recommendations: I find myself returning once again to Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, a compelling study on New World Order economics. Klein credits economist Milton Friedman as the mastermind of “unfettered capitalism” and proposes that, according to Friedman’s tactical nostrum, real change can only happen out of crisis. While most of the world may stockpile supplies in the event of a disaster, “Friedmanites” stockpile free-market ideas.
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.
The series so far: Daniel Alarcón, Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Ana Castillo, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, William Gibson, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Alex Kotlowitz, Bill McKibben, Rabbi Jack Moline, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peggy Orenstein, Wendy C. Ortiz, Darryl Pinckney, Joe Romm, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Tracy K. Smith, Ayelet Waldman, Jesmyn Ward, and Gene Luen Yang. (New posts daily.)