- from Susan
Favorite writers? How can I choose?
Well, I guess I'd have to begin with E.B. White (Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web) whose completely anthropomorphized critters can still make me cry. I choke up when I try to read it to small children. Very embarrassing.
Robert McCloskey (Homer Price, Make Way for Ducklings, Lentil) whose children’s books held me deeply, and captured an America before my own time that was so appealing that I can remember wishing I could go back and live there.
Will Shakespeare (the comedies and sonnets in particular) and, no, I’m not trying to impress you, gentle reader. It may take me a few minutes to get into the format and rhythm of the play’s text these days when my typical choice of pre-bedtime reading is contemporary crime fiction, but once I’m through the door, I revel in the sound of the words, the pacing, the slyness, the sense I get that the playwright was having a ball.
James Joyce for Ulysses, so rich, so satisfying for an Irish American girl in love with the cadences of the language and the music. I would be over-reaching to pretend Finnegan’s Wake was more than a long, looping string of words and ideas tumbling this way and that, making me smile now and then when I thought I got it, but leaving me helpless the rest of the time.
Jane Austen, who still makes me squirm in my chair in case Darcy doesn’t come to his senses this time, or Captain Wentworth decides not to write his letter, or Elinor doesn’t realize which of the brothers got married. Have no idea how she does it, or what it touches in me, but Austen has magic and insists that I suspend disbelief until she releases me from her spell.
Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, and P.D. James (the latter especially for An Unsuitable Job for a Woman) for transforming modern crime fiction into an equal opportunity literary form in which the female detective is smart, sharp, strong, and brave and makes no apologies for her professionalism. There are others who helped make this happen, but these three are my heroes.
But this just scratches the surface. I hope everyone weighs in on this topic – I want to add other people’s favs to my own.