“I took a fiction workshop with Phillips in college and was shocked when she assigned her own book. (It’s a collection of stories about everything from serial killers to mothers and daughters.) But I’m glad she did. Never before had a book given me permission to write so frankly about sex and sexuality, to try on different voices, male ones included, and to write from a dark, honest place. The stories are varied, some emotional and others shocking, but they are all authentic and utterly compelling.”
Recommended by Jennifer Gilmore, the author of three novels, the most recent of which is The Mothers ($26, amazon.com).
To buy: $14, amazon.com.