Originally from Alabama, Genevieve Hudson earned an MFA from Portland State University and has received Fulbright, MacDowell and Vermont Studio Center fellowships. Hudson is the author of Pretend We Live Here: Stories and lives in Portland, Ore. Boys of Alabama (Liveright, May 19, 2020) is their first novel.
On your nightstand now:
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, because who doesn't like a good scare right before sleep. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller has been recommended to me by many. I just started it and am already absorbed. Also, on my nightstand is Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown, Godshot by Chelsea Bieker, Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons and Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden.
Favorite book when you were a child:
I loved fantasy books when I was young, especially the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. When I was a bit older, coming-of-age stories were my favorite things to read. Especially The Outsiders (and everything else) by S.E. Hinton; A Separate Peace by John Knowles; and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Your top five authors:
It's hard to list only five, because I have been shaped and influenced by the writing of so many. But the ones that come to mind first are: James Baldwin, Anne Carson, Dorothy Allison, Leni Zumas and Maggie Nelson.
Book you've faked reading:
I never finished Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Book you're an evangelist for:
I tell everyone to read Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson.
Book you've bought for the cover:
I love the cover of No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. I'm a sucker for minimalism. But I would read anything Miranda July writes.
Book you hid from your parents:
I read Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks when I was in middle school. It was dark and druggy, and my instincts told me I should read it in secret.
Book that changed your life:
Bluets by Maggie Nelson, for the way its language entered me.
Favorite line from a book:
Toni Morrison from Song of Solomon: "If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it."
Five books you'll never part with:
Reborn: Journals and Notebooks by Susan Sontag
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
Syllabus by Lynda Barry
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
A Year Without a Name by Cyrus Grace Dunham and On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Also, given these times, I'd like to reread The Plague by Camus.