LFD Summer Reading: Liss

The LFD dancers have been sharing the books they’ve been enjoying over the summer (see: part 1 in the 2016 LFD summer reading posts, with recommendations from Katharine Hawthorne and Sonja Dale) and today we have two recommendations from LFD director and choreographer Liss Fain.

liss summer reading
Liss in the Tetons.


Home by Marilynne Robinson

Home is about change and forgiveness within oneself, a family and a community. In a small Iowa town, the adult son of an elderly dying minister returns home after a twenty-year absence. A reprobate without any particular malevolent intentions, the son questions his father, his sister (who also has returned home), and his father’s best friend (another minister) about whether you are born evil, uncaring, criminal. Is it possible to change or have you destroyed too much trust; and can you be forgiven for your choices. Predestination versus free will; where does one end and the other begin? Can you understand what in yourself is compassion, hypocrisy and blindness?”

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead is written as a monologue—the letters of a dying minister, John Ames, to his seven-year-old son. Ames’s random compilation of observations, thoughts and autobiographical stories create a portrait of a man with a depth of kindness, astute observations of nature and people, and a jealous anger he cannot resolve. The non-narrative fragments are the perfect structure for Robinson’s poignantly poetic, insightful, and astutely human prose.”

LFD Summer Reading: Katharine & Sonja

LFD is on a break from the studio, which means the dancers are busy traveling and catching up on other work and reading. They’ve been kind enough to share some reading recommendations from the books they’ve been enjoying, so if you’re looking for something to read as we head into the end of summer, consider these books. First up, recommendations from dancers Katharine Hawthorne and Sonja Dale:


From Katharine (pictured above):

On the Lower Frequencies: A Secret History of the City by Erick Lyle

“A portrait of late 90s SF from the author of the zine Scam. It’s poignant to read about the evolution of the city before the first dot-com boom, and to understand the parallels (and differences) to what we’re experiencing today.”

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit

“This book was written in the Bush era and helped me appreciate how much the world has changed (how much I have changed!) since then. An important read for right now, which certainly seems like a dark time on our national and international stage.”



From Sonja (pictured above):

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

“It’s a story about an old married couple who go in search of their long-lost son, but they can’t remember where he lives or even what he looks like. It’s set in old England, just after King Arthur’s reign. There is a strange “mist” that is wiping out everyone’s memories. It’s a story about human nature, and love, and memory, and adventure. All the good stuff!


“I also have been thoroughly enjoying Miss Marple murder mysteries.”


Kazuo Ishiguro got caught up in a minor uproar in the writing/publishing world when The Buried Giant came out. Many people seemed baffled or annoyed that he had written a “fantasy” novel. Neil Gaiman, after reviewing The Buried Giant for the NY Times, invited Ishiguro to have a conversation about genre snobbery and stories. The conversation was published in the New Statesman and it has a lot of delightful back and forth. Both authors seem intrigued by each other’s work and enchanted by the idea of stories as long-lived entities. Give it a read: “Let’s Talk About Genre: Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation”


Photos of Katharine and Sonja by Benjamin Hersh.