Lisa SwayzeMay 1, 2020
The Last Bookstore
An Interview with Lisa Swayze, the General Manager of Buffalo Street Book in Ithaca, New York
New Books Network 2020
An interview with Lisa Swayze, the General Manager of Buffalo Street Book in Ithaca, New York. Buffalo Street Books is one of a handful of community-owned bookstores in the country. It survived the double plague of a Borders and a Barnes and Nobles in the same tiny city with them by reaching out to the community to buy ownership shares. We discuss her latest recommendations for reading during the pandemic, and I share my delight with the sub-genre of the “paranoid campus novel.”
Books Recommended in this episode:
- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
- Lisa’s Best of last 5 years: Ask Again Yes - Mary Beth Keane; The Great Believers - Rebecca Makkai; History of Wolves - Emily Fridlund; The Mothers - Brit Bennett; The Nickel Boys - Colson Whitehead; The Night Watchman - Louise Erdrich; Nothing to See Here - Kevin Wilson; On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous - Ocean Vuong; Pachinko - Min Jin Lee; Red at the Bone - Jacqueline Woodson; Sing Unburied Sing - Jesmyn Ward; There There - Tommy Orange; Women Talking - Miriam Toews.
- What to look for: This Town Sleeps by Dennis Staples; Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis Sharma; Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang; The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet; Migrations by Charlotte McCongahy; And Lisa’s best book of the year thus far, The Death of Vivek Oji by Awkeke Emezi
- The Paranoid Campus Novel: The Secret History, Donna Tartt; The Magicians, Lev Grossman; Catherine House, Elisabeth Thomas; Bunny, Mona Awad; Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers.