RMSYL 11: Netsuke [excerpt] by Rikki Ducornet (read by Saskia Vogel)

The great thing, for me, about RMSYL is the sheer diversity of readers transmitting their love of reading to me, and the texts they choose to do this with. This afternoon I was in Brompton Library listening and then later discussing Tim The Terrible Tiger with Jane, a reading volunteer. Tomorrow morning, I’m meeting Edward Espe Brown (Yes! Tassajara Bread Book  Espe Brown: 1/3 Gordon Ramsay, 1/3  Shunryu Suzuki, 1/3 Jack Kerouac.) It’s breakfast and Rumi for me +  EEB. Then on Friday afternoon, the poet and short story writer Sarah Salway. How blessed am I? Indeed, I felt pinch-me blessed when I sat some weeks back with Saskia Vogel in Granta HQ. We were in the basement, surrounded on all sides by writers I admire and some I just plain adore: Nicholson Baker, Amy Bloom, TC Boyle. Yep, we were next to the Bs, but I would have been equally happy with the As (Athill, Antrim) or Cs (Canetti, Chekhov). Saskia works for Granta, and so gets to hang out with that whole alphabet on a daily basis. Perhaps for this reason, she chose to read me a writer that isn’t published by The Big G. Rather were you to feed Saskia’s literary DNA into a Machine Learning Algorithm a zillion times more sophisticated than Amazon Recommendations, you would get…. Well, what would you get? Try it. Here’s the DNA from the About section on Saskia’s website: I grew up on the Western-most cliffs of California with the barking of seals at night and a hunger for stories and magazines. They put feminism and fluoride in my drinking water. While I was doing an MFA at USC in Professional Writing, I came across an amazing group of people on the edges of sexuality and wrote a book of their stories. Sex, feminism and magazines came together when a job came up at AVN, the Publisher’s Weekly of the adult film industry. In 2008, I moved back to London to do an MA in Comparative Literature at UCL, so I could explore some questions about the construction of the modern concept of sexuality in Vienna 1900 through popular erotic memoir. And now to apply the algorithm, PRESS HERE. See, this isn’t just about Pleasure, this project is Science.

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