Ayelet Waldman’s Resistance Reading

Authors pick books that bring solace and understanding in an age of rancor.


Claire Lewis

We asked a range of authors and creative types to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. More than two dozen responded. Here are picks from the witty and thoughtful Ayelet Waldman, whose recent book about microdosing with LSD caused a bit of a stir in the straight world.

Latest book: A Really Good Day
Also known for: Bad Mother
Reading recommendations: It was as if Mohsin Hamid knew exactly what would convulse the world when he wrote Exit West. It’s a novel about refugees, about cruelty and empathy and compassion, and in the end—oddly—about the possibility of an odd kind of redemption. I am surely not going to be the only one who recommends George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo, but listening to the audiobook (something I don’t normally do) was one of the most transporting literary experiences of my life. It was both a refuge (I’d put in my earbuds and hide from the horrors of the news) and an inspiration. Led by a brave, brilliant, and indeed tormented man, this nation rejected slavery. It is at least possible that we will one day reject racism, xenophobia, misogyny and all the various tyrannies of this foul administration and the vicious moron who leads it. 
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The complete series: Daniel Alarcón, Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Ana Castillo, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, William Gibson, Mohsin Hamid, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Alex Kotlowitz, Bill McKibbenRabbi Jack Moline, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peggy Orenstein, Wendy C. Ortiz, Darryl Pinckney, Joe Romm, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Tracy K. Smith, Ayelet WaldmanJesmyn Ward, and Gene Luen Yang.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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