2011 Winter Fiction Panel discussion

Friday: Potluck

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 11 comments Mod
Usually on Fridays I like to talk about what people are reading over the weekend, and often in these author groups, I like to ask writers what other writers they admire. I'll still do that here, but I also wanted to open this up to anything that we haven't touched on yet. Maybe there's some specific issue you'd like to discuss with the authors. Maybe there's a specific question you have about one of their books.

For the authors, who are the authors you most admire? And who would you consider your influences?

message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary (glickman) | 16 comments There are so many authors I admire, including those I share this panel with. And then there are my heroes. I.B. Singer, Honore Balzac, and Pierre Louys heading the list. Each of them have taught me much about writing character and studying humanity. Back to those I particularly admire: Saul Bellow,Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I'm not sure what these writers share particularly that make them my faves. But then after reading the thoughtful posts by my fellow writers here, I do feel the idiot savant of the group. This weekend's reading? I've been trying to finish The Finkler Question forever. It's not Howard Jacobson's fault. The novel reads like the wind. It's all mea culpa. I can't read much while I'm working and I very recently finished a novel. So.

message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Alther | 12 comments Growing up, I especially loved the British women writers -- Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot -- as well as the great Southern women writers -- Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty --because they made me realize that women could write wonderful fiction. Once I started writing myself, Doris Lessing was especially important to me. Now I seem to like endless sagas that go on forever -- Proust, Powell, Sigrid Undset. Coincidentally, I read books by all the writers on this panel before this panel ever existed and admired them all.

message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary (glickman) | 16 comments Ack, Lisa! You've shamed me! I forgot to mention Flannery O'Connor. I feel like Hillary Swank when she won the Academy Award and forgot to thank her husband! Flannery O'Connor, my darling Flannery - her wit, her economy, her characterization - everything I admire. And she said one of the best things about Southern writing ever: Northerners think all Southern writing is grotesque unless it really is grotesque and then they think it's realistic.
I love her.

message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan Straight | 6 comments I look forward all week to reading on the weekend. Michael Tolkin, who wrote The Player, came to visit my class Thursday, and it was amazing. He talked about James M. Cain, Shakespeare, and Patricia Highsmith. So I'm reading Mildred Pierce, which is astonishing.

I checked out Mildred Pierce at my college library, and walked past all the books by the writers from this week - I remembered reading Kinflicks when I was young, and I've used Evening (which I chose for a prize once!) in classes. Now I checked out Mary's book, Home in the Morning, so as to get to know her, too.

And a book of poems by a writer from Martinique...

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