Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls author T Kira Madden.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
T Kira Madden: My literary DNA is equal parts Go Ask Alice, The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Little Girl Lost (a high camp Drew Barrymore memoir!), The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson, and books of Hawaiian mythology. I’d never be able to choose just one.
BM: Favorite re-read?
TKM: Close Range by Annie Proulx. Reading and studying her sentences feels most like a master class, and it’s important to me to always remain a student of words. Also, my wife and I love Close Range on audio for road trips. It’s become tradition.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
TKM: Our books are so, so different, but in my dream world I’d like to think my work is always in conversation with Heather Lewis, particularly House Rules. We’re both Sarah Lawrence educated horse dykes writing about sexual abuse and addiction. She made a landscape for me, so the least I can do is try to touch what she touched in her work and in her life.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
TKM: The Fact of a Body by Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, again and again and again and again. Brilliant.
BM: Last book you read?
TKM: Kristiana Kahakauwila’s phenomenal This is Paradise, and so many terrific galleys.
BM: A book that made you cry?
TKM: Kawai Strong Washburn’s Sharks in the Time of Saviors. In two pages. Literally. The writing is just stunning. I also recently reread Sharon Olds’s The Father, which still has all my notes and underlines from when I’d read it just after my father died. It was eerie to be in conversation with past-grieving me, while still grieving. New parts resonated. Old underlines rang out differently.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
TKM: Cyrus Grace Dunham’s A Year Without a Name is such a mesmerizing and fresh memoir that refuses relief. I’d also love to give a shout to Carrie Goldberg’s Nobody’s Victim. Nobody’s Victim is a call to arms, a gripping memoir, and an invaluable tool for those looking to protect themselves and their loved ones from abusers.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
TKM: I think Sally Rooney is hilarious.
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
TKM: I think I’ve given every friend a copy of Lynda Barry’s Cruddy, and if they don’t like it, they’re not my friend. Two birds.
BM: Book you wish would be adapted for a film/tv show?
TKM: Chelsea Bieker’s Godshot! Every scene is so visually evocative. Every character is a landscape of their own.
T Kira Madden is the author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls. She is still an amateur magician.
T Kira Madden’s Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is out now in paperback from Bloomsbury Publishing