It wouldn’t be possible to publish The Nation without the critical help of our peerless interns. Their energy, passion, ideas and engagement are reflected in print each week and virtually hourly at thenation.com. We also rely on our interns to tell us what’s hip, what music we should be listening to, and what hot new authors we should be considering. Now, we’re sharing the knowledge by asking our interns to tell us what they’re reading this summer and why.
Natasja Sheriff, Carnforth (Lancashire, UK)
The Stone Raft by José Saramago
I’m reading The Stone Raft by José Saramago. I’m enjoying the absurdity of the story (the Iberian Peninsular breaks away from the European continent) and the lyricism of the prose, both of which are very reminiscent of Latin American magical realism.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, Ridgewood, NY
Working in the Shadows by Gabriel Thompson
I’m reading Gabriel Thompson’s Working in the Shadows. Thompson spends a year working alongside immigrants in a lettuce field, a poultry plant, and a Manhattan restaurant in order to understand what’s at stake when we talk about immigration reform at the level of labor. It’s a really solid book with an endlessly engaging narrative. Because I’m sympathetic to the issue at hand, I’m not surprised to find myself responding viscerally to some of the passages, but I often imagine a different kind of reader–someone against reform, who is perhaps prepared to respond viscerally in a wholly different way–responding in kind because Thompson presents politics as a matter of basic human decency.
Sahiba Gill, Canton, Ohio
The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848 by Eric Hobsbawm
I’m reading Eric Hobsbawm’s The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789-1848. For anyone puzzling over what governments and societies will emerge from the Arab Spring, this sweeping 1962 account of the transformation of the West through the French and Industrial revolutions is a reminder that it was economic and societal shifts – not barricades and pamphlets (the precursors to Twitter and Facebook) that produced democracy as we recognize it today.
Carmen Garcia, Vista, CA
2666 by Roberto Bolaño
I’m reading 2666, by Roberto Bolaño. It’s intriguing and fabulously unsettling.
Britney Wilson, Brooklyn, NY
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
I’m reading Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. I honestly can’t say whether I like it or not, but I appreciate Marable’s attempt to delve deeper than the legend of Malcolm X in order to discover who he was and what he was about from a somewhat more objective angle. I’m very interested in African-American history and social movements, and Malcolm X is definitely an important figure to me, so I find the book interesting and informative, not just because of the information it provides, about Malcolm, but also because of the information it provides about African-American and American history in general.