Jess Walter recommends


The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) gets underway at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto on Oct. 18. So CBC Books got in touch with some of the writers who will be appearing at the festival to find out what recent read they'd like to recommend.


Jess Walter is an award-winning American novelist and non-fiction writer who will be at the IFOA on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. He has published six novels, including The Zero, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. His latest book, Beautiful Ruins, takes us from the early 1960s, in a remote Italian seaside village to contemporary Hollywood, in a sweeping story of love and ambition.

His book pick is Blasphemy: New and Selected Short Stories by Sherman Alexie. Alexie brings humour, honesty and insight to these tales, centred around life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, and ranging from the story of a homeless Indian man trying to reclaim a family heirloom from a pawn shop to a former high school basketball star who honours his dead father by returning to the sport he once loved.

Walter had this to say about the book:

"I wish Sherman wasn't my friend so I could write him one of those crazy fan letters about how this collection of twenty years of stories is like some kind of unbelievable symphony of language and sorrow. Instead, I'll just wait until I see him and talk smack about his basketball game."

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