POLITICO’s Summer Reading List

From POLITICO, Here’s What Politicos Are Reading This Summer: 27 books + The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton! So thrilled for Lara whose book was released in fall of last year by Paloma Press, and also featured in The New York Times and Philippine Star, among others!

The Ruin of Everything tells tales of abandoned children living in adult bodies. Bastards, bi-racial half-siblings, and orphans raised by aunts, they lose their last best love through brokenness like “the impossible loop in a stress dream.” Racial ambiguity abounds and confounds US color lines. Tones stretch from lugubrious sorrow to wicked dramedy. Obstinately fluid in architecture and identity, stories range from slick Hollywood glam to essayistic musings, from traditional immigrant realism, to rehearsals of autofiction that grow more metatextual as the book goes along. Just as we think we’ve learned how to read Stapleton’s stories, they shapeshift. And yet, the pieces reflect each other, a sad-clown funhouse hall of mirrors. Through wanton experiments with character, The Ruin of Everything asks us what is important to a tale and what it means to be American in country and continents. Lovers of Clarice Lispector and Luisa Valenzuela will find much to admire here.

About the author:

LARA STAPLETON was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan. Her maternal family is from the Philippines. New York City is her homeland. She is the author of the short story collections The Ruin of Everything (Paloma Press) and The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers’ Selection, and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She edited The Thirdest World (Factory School) and co-edited Juncture (Soft Skull). Her work has appeared in dozens of periodicals, including The LA Review of Books, The Nerds of Color, Poets and Writers, The Brooklyn Rail, Ms., Glimmer Train, and The Indiana Review. A writer of prose, poetry, and teleplays, she is developing 1850; co-created with Rachel Watanabe-Batton, the television series is set in antebellum New Orleans and is about mixed-race families, taboo and the color line. The project was selected for the IFP No Borders International Co-Production Market. She is also at work on a show about a self-destructive multi-cultural community in Brooklyn and another about a Filipino-American restaurateur with Nicole Ponseca. 

She was the recipient of a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant for writers and a two-time winner of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for fiction. She was also the winner of the Columbia Journal fiction prize. A graduate of NYU’s creative writing program, her greatest pride is for her students at Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. 

Congratulations, Lara Stapleton!

Congratulations to Lara Stapleton who has just been accepted to La Chispa’s International Artist in Residency Program in Medellin!

LARA STAPLETON is the author of the short story collection, The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers’ Selection and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She is the recipient of a Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Grant for Writers, a two-time winner of the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for Fiction and winner of the Columbia Journal Fiction Prize. Her second story collection, The Ruin of Everything, was released by Paloma Press in October last year.

Paloma books in libraries

You can check these out today!

Library of Congress
Close Apart by Robert Cowan (poetry)
Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (poetry)*
Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)
The Good Mother of Marseille by Christopher X. Shade (novel)
Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (poetry)
The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)
Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by Eileen R. Tabios
Humanity: An Anthology, volume 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios (essays)
One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by Eileen R. Tabios (poetry)

CALIFORNIA

Daly City Public Library
Diaspora: Volume L by Ivy Alvarez (poetry) 
Glimpses by Leny Mendoza Strobel (essays)
Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by Eileen R. Tabios (short stories)
Marcelina by Jean Vengua (poetry)

San Francisco Public Library
Diaspora: Volume L by Ivy Alvarez (poetry)
Marawi by Albert E. Alejo & Eileen R. Tabios (poetry chapbook)
peminology by Melinda Luisa de Jesus (poetry)
After Irma, After Harvey: A Fundraiser on Behalf of Animals by Lisa Suguitan Melnick et al (chapbook)
Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)
The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)
Glimpses by Leny Mendoza Strobel (essays)
The Great American Novel: Selected Visual Poetry 2001-2019 by Eileen R. Tabios (poetry) 
Humanity: An Anthology, volume 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios (essays)
Manhattan: An Archaeology by Eileen R. Tabios (poetry)
One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by Eileen R. Tabios (poetry)

San Mateo County Libraries
Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)
Humanity: An Anthology, volume 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios (essays) 

South San Francisco Public Library
Humanity: An Anthology, volume 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios (essays)

Stanford Libraries
Blue by Reme Grefalda & Wesley St. Jo (poetry)
Humanity: An Anthology, volume 1 edited by Eileen R. Tabios (essays)
One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by Eileen R. Tabios (poetry)

NEW YORK

New York Public Library
Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (poetry)
The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)

Poets House
Diaspora: Volume L by Ivy Alvarez
Humors by Joel Chace
Close Apart by Robert Cowan
My Beauty is an Occupiable Space: 37 Prosed Sonnets by Anne Gorrick & John Bloomberg-Rissman
peminology by Melinda Luisa de Jesus
After Irma, After Harvey: A Fundraiser on Behalf of Animals by Lisa Suguitan Melnick et al (chapbook)
Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade
Anne with an E & Me by Wesley St. Jo
Blue by Wesley St. Jo & Reme Grefalda
The Great American Novel: Selected Visual Poetry 2001-2019 by Eileen R. Tabios
Manhattan: An Archaeology by Eileen R. Tabios
Marawi by Eileen R. Tabios & Albert E. Alejo (chapbook)
One, Two, Three: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems by Eileen R. Tabios

*Gratitude also to the following libraries for acquiring a copy of Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s ShellbackYale Club Library, NYC; Albert Wisner Public Library, NY; Gonzaga U Library, Spokane; Everett High School Library, Everett, Washington; Everett Public Library.

The Free Lance-Star reviews TRoE

Nicholas Addison Thomas of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg reviews Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything:

“It’s easy to see why Lara Stapleton has won several awards for her writing. Few authors can explore the human condition with such force that it raises eyebrows and stirs the soul simultaneously.

“Find out for yourself by reading her new book, “The Ruin of Everything,” a short story collection anchored in musings about biracial identities, brokenness and the comic chaos of modern life.”

Read the article here.

TRoE in The News International

Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything is reviewed in The News International, Pakistan’s largest English language newspaper! Gratitude to author and book critic Moazzam Sheikh.

“In Lara Stapleton’s The Ruin of Everything, stories dealt with issues of bifurcated identities and self-confidence or the lack thereof in the lives of Filipino Americans and how they negotiate their conflicting, slippery claims on the New York and/or Manila states of mind.”