Letter of Recommendation: Sam Anderson’s Work.

Ursula Le Guin by Sam Anderson

I was introduced to Sam Anderson’s work through Austin Kleon. Really it was long before I knew of Kleon, when I read Anderson’s great piece on David Foster Wallace.

I cannot recommend his work enough. Whenever I see his byline I see someone who loves reading, and has intoxicated my own reading habits.

I highly recommend his first book Boom Town, a book about Oklahoma City from the perspective of a New Yorker. It’s informed the memoir I’m writing now and my experiences in Indiana.

This book is a history of Oklahoma City. That may strike you as unnecessary, or unfortunate. If so, I would understand. In the larger economy of American attention, Oklahoma City’s main job has always been to be ignored. When non-Oklahomans need to think about the place, we tend to fall back on cliches: tepees, wagon trains, the Dust Bowl, country music, college football, methamphetamine, radical anti-government politics.”

-Anderson, XV

Some of my favorite articles of his are Haruki Murakami, The Good Place, and recently Weird Al Yankovic.

But recently what helped me out a lot with the stress of this spring was reading his letters of recommendation on looking out the window, blind contour drawings, and the collages he does on Instagram. So I adopted those and started doing collages and blind contour drawings almost daily in June and that led to Squibbish drawing actual faces and collaging with me. As a token of appreciation I bought this Ursula K. Le Guin t-shirt featuring his sketch of her, her quote, that supports his favorite local bookstore.

A collage: “I miss baseball”

In Anderson’s style, this season’s posts will be a series of Letters of Recommendation of things that brought me joy this spring.

A blind contour of my son’s lion toys while listening to Carnival of the Animals.

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