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Juliano Zaffino - The Author Is Dead - Blog

A Year In The Life: Top 10 Lists of 2017

Juliano Zaffino

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2017: Top 10 Lists
2017 has been pretty crazy - amidst an insane socio-political backdrop that I won't even begin to comment upon right now, I've graduated from my MA in Shakespeare Studies (with a Distinction!), written a trilogy of full-length plays adapting Ancient Greek tragedies as well as two short plays and a series of monologues, seen over sixty pieces of theatre and around twenty concerts, and met my target of reading 104 books in the year, from short graphic novels to 900-page epics. I've worked myself to the bone to experience as much art/culture as I could this year and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all: so here's my top 10 lists for theatre, poetry collections, prose books, albums, and concerts in 2017. Each list reflects my own personal, subjective responses. If you're interested in reading my fuller thoughts on each of these artworks, I've posted more fully throughout the year on both Instagram and Twitter.


Top 10 Theatre Of 2017
1. Christa Harris – Inside Pussy Riot (Les Enfants Terrible) (Saatchi Gallery)
2. Kirsty Housley – Myth (Kirsty Housley & Matt Hartley) (RSC, The Other Place)
3. Quote Unquote Collective – Mouthpiece (Amy Nostbakken & Norah Sadava) (CanadaHub, Edinburgh Fringe)
4. Kimberley Sykes – Dido, Queen Of Carthage (Christoher Marlowe) (RSC, Swan Theatre)
5. Marianne Elliot – Angels In America (Tony Kushner) (NT, Lyttleton Theatre)
6. Thomas Ostermeier – Returning To Reims (Didier Eribon) (Schaubühne/MIF, HOME Manchester)
7. Ned Bennett – An Octoroon (Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) (Orange Tree Theatre)
8. Sally Cookson – Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë) (NT, Lyttleton Theatre)
9. Thomas Kail – Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) (Victoria Palace Theatre)
10. Rebecca Humphries – Prom Kween (Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe)

Honourable Mentions:
Hedda Gabler, Ugly Lies The Bone, Anatomy of a Suicide, Yerma, Mosquitoes, Palmyra, The Parisian Woman, Network, The Lady From The Sea, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Complete 2017 Theatre (in chronological order):
Hedda Gabler, The Winter’s Tale (Cheek By Jowl), Snow In Midsummer, Julius Caesar (RSC), Anthony & Cleopatra (RSC), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Hypocrite, Hamlet (Almeida), Twelfth Night (NT), Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Angels In America, Vice Versa, Woyzeck, Ugly Lies The Bone, Obsession, Earthworks, Myth, Salomé (RSC), Anatomy of A Suicide, The Goat, Life of Galileo, Titus Andronicus (RSC), An Octoroon, Returning To Reims, The Mentor, Salomé (NT), Twelfth Night (Globe), Queers, Common, Venus and Adonis (RSC), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Mosquitoes, Celebration, Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist, The Marriage of Kim K, Action At A Distance, Anyone’s Guess How We Got Here, Mouthpiece, Sugar Baby, Prom Kween, Palmyra, Harry, Yerma, Dido Queen Of Carthage, Kingdom Come, Follies, Oslo, Coriolanus (RSC), Heisenberg, Young Marx, All My Sons, Jane Eyre, Beginning, The Parisian Woman, Illyria, Network, The Lady From The Sea, A Christmas Carol (RSC), Inside Pussy Riot, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Hamilton, Imperium

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Top 10 Poetry Collections of 2017
1. Hera Lindsay Bird – Hera Lindsay Bird
2. Ocean Vuong – Night Sky With Exit Wounds
3. Patricia Lockwood – Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexual
4. Hollie McNish – Plum
5. Jackie Kay – Bantam
6. Morgan Parker – There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
7. Richard Osmond – Useful Verses
8. Anne Michaels – All We Saw
9. Jacob Polley – Jackself
10. John Burnside – Still Life With Feeding Snake

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Top 10 Prose Books of 2017
1. Han Kang – The White Book (translated by Deborah Smith)
2. George Saunders – Lincoln In The Bardo
3. Jessica Friedmann – Things That Helped
4. Paul Auster – 4 3 2 1
5. Maggie Nelson – Bluets
6. Maria Alyokhina – Riot Days
7. Eli Goldstone – Strange Heart Beating
8. Durga Chew-Bose – Too Much And Not The Mood
9. David Foenkinos – Charlotte
10. Bandi – The Accusation (translated by Deborah Smith)
    / Tom Hanks – Uncommon Type

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Top 10 Albums of 2017
1. St Vincent – MASSEDUCATION
2. Lorde – Melodrama
3. HAIM – Something To Tell You
4. Ibeyi – Ash
5. Austra – Future Politics
6. London Grammar – Truth Is A Beautiful Thing
7. Susanne Sundfør – Music For People In Trouble
8. SOHN – Rennen
9. Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About The Car?
10. Laura Marling – Semper Femina

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Top 10 Concerts of 2017
1. Kimbra (Primal Heart Tour)
2. St Vincent (Fear The Future Tour)
3. Gorillaz (Humanz Tour)
4. London Grammar (Truth Is A Beautiful Thing Tour)
5. The xx (I See You Tour)
6. Lorde (Melodrama Tour)
7. HAIM (Something To Tell You Album Release)
8. BANKS (The Altar Tour)
9. Paramore (After Laughter Tour)
10. Laura Marling (Semper Femina Tour)

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Complete 2017 Reading List
1. Jacob Polley – Jackself
2. Ben Lerner – The Hatred Of Poetry
3. Emily Berry – Stranger, Baby
4. Helen Mort – No Map Could Show Them
5. Paul Auster – 4 3 2 1
6. Bandi – The Accusation
7. Melissa Lee-Houghton – Sunshine
8. Danielle Dutton – Margaret The First
9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto…
10. Cathy Rentzenbrink – A Manual For Heartache
11. Richard Osmond – Useful Verses
12. John Darnielle – Universal Harvester
13. Ocean Vuong – Night Sky With Exit Wounds
14. Grayson Perry – The Descent Of Man
15. Howard Jacobson – Pussy
16. Jack Underwood – Happiness
17. Michel Faber – Under The Skin
18. Johnny Cash – Forever Words
19. Dominic Dromgoole – Hamlet: Globe To Globe
20. Adam O’Riordan – A Herring Famine
21. Claire Trévien – Astéronymes
22. Sarah Howe – Loop Of Jade
23. Emma Jones – The Striped World
24. Rachael Boast – Void Studies
25. Jessica Friedmann – Things That Helped
26. Tracy Chevalier – New Boy
27. Emily Berry, Anne Carson, Sophie Collins – Modern Poets One: If I’m Scared, We Can’t Win
28. Michael Robbins, Patricia Lockwood, Timothy Thornton – Modern Poets Two: Controlled Explosions
29. Malika Booker, Sharon Olds, Warsan Shire – Modern Poets Three: Your Family, Your Body
30. Rachael Boast – Pilgrim’s Flower
31. Rachael Boast – Sidereal
32. Claudia Rankine – Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
33. Sean O’Brien – The Drowned Book
34. Vivek Shanbhag – Ghachar Ghochar
35. Haruki Murakami – Men Without Women
36. John Burnside – Still Time With Feeding Snake
37. Andrew Motion – Peace Talks
38. Katherine Towers – The Remedies
39. Junichirō Tanizaki – In Praise Of Shadows
40. Eli Goldstone – Strange Heart Beating
41. James Baldwin & Raoul Peck – I Am Not Your Negro
42. Matthew Francis – Blizzard
43. Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch
44. Patricia Lockwood – Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals
45. Rivka Galchen – Little Labours
46. Wioletta Greg – Swallowing Mercury
47. Sean Borodale – Human Work
48. Arja Kajermo – The Iron Age
49. Lavinia Greenlaw – Night Photograph
50. Peter Ackroyd – Queer City
51. Olivia Laing & David Dernie – Shipwreck
52. Megan Hunter – The End We Start From
53. Yuri Herrera – Kingdom Cons
54. Kathleen, Don Paterson, Nick Laird – Modern Poets Four: Other Ways To Leave The Room
55. Daljit Nagra – Look We Have Coming To Dover!
56. Amy Liptrot – The Outrun
57. Michael Symmons Roberts – Drysalter
58. Arundhati Roy – The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
59. Maggie Nelson – The Argonauts
60. Maggie Nelson – The Red Parts
61. Maggie Nelson – Bluets
62. Michael Longley – Angel Hill
63. Gwendoline Riley – First Love
64. Richard O’Brien – The Emmores
65. Elaine Beckett – Faber New Poets 13
66. Stephen King + Richard Chizmar – Gwendy’s Button Box
67. Anne Carson – Glass And God
68. David Harsent – Fire Songs
69. Stephen King – The Drawing Of The Three
70. Sam Riviere, Frederick Seidel, Kathryn Maris – Modern Poets Five: Occasional Wild Parties
71. Andrés Barba – Such Small Hands
72. Sam Riviere – 81 Austerities
73. Durga Chew-Bose – Too Much And Not The Mood
74. Kate Bush & the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge – The Mayx XXV
75. Chabouté – The Park Bench
76. Warsan Shire – Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth
77. Stephen King & Owen King – Sleeping Beauties
78. Tom Hanks – Uncommon Type: Some Stories
79. Han Kang – The White Book
80. Claudia Rankine, Denise Riley, Maggie Nelson – Modern Poets Six: Die Deeper Into Life
81. Jackie Kay – Bantam
82. Maria Alyokhina – Riot Days
83. Edward St Aubyn – Dunbar
84. Hannah Kent – Burial Rites
85. Neil Hilborn – Our Numbered Days
86. Hollie McNish – Plum
87. Virginia Woolf & Mark Haddon – Two Stories
88. David Foenkinos – Charlotte
89. Lavinia Greenlaw – A Double Sorrow
90. Merle Miller – On Being Different
91. Nick Laird – Go Giants
92. Morgan Parker – There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé
93. Mark Doty – Deep Lane
94. Hera Lindsay Bird – Hera Lindsay Bird
95. Anne Michaels – All We Saw
96. Michael Dickman & Matthew Dickman – Brother
97. Denise Riley – Say Something Back
98. Sinéad Morrissey – On Balance
99. Sabrina Benaim – Depression & Other Magic Tricks
100. Jay Griffiths – Tristimania
101. Craig Thompson – Blankets
102. Tom Gauld – Mooncop
103. George Saunders – Lincoln In The Bardo
104. Kayo Chingonyi – Kumukanda