Today's Top 10 Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish asks me to select my top 10 "writers I'd DIE to meet", but that forces me to narrow down my field of wanna-meets to too few for my expansive mood. So I'm going with a "truly dead" list and a "still in the corporeal sphere" one. Indulge me, and then tell me whom I've missed and your absolute must-meet in each category!
- Jane Austen: In hopes that a conversation with her would help me understand what all the fuss is about.
- James Joyce: My first literary love, and perhaps he'd take me on a tour of Dublin.
- Zora Neale Hurston: As both a writer and a social anthropologist/folklorist, she'd have so much to teach me.
- William Shakespeare: Just exactly who are you, anyway, and do you converse as eloquently and entertainingly as you pen?
- Lao Tse: And who are you as well (are you multiple people)? And what did # 27 in the Tao Te Ching mean anyway?
- Rumi: Please show me how you compose those spiritually transcendent play-for-mortal-stakes verses, and please introduce me to Shams as well.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay: Let's just pal around for a few days, wild spirit-sprite of your age!
- Kahlil Gibran: One long stroll as he recites his poetry to me and a gathering gaggle of fans. We all pause in a garden and he makes a drawing to bring back with me...
- Samuel Beckett: Just meandering in circles as he spins out comic profundities punctuated by the occasional piercing glance.
- Emily Dickinson: Kindred spirits, we'd likely just sit in her big back yard, sipping tea and silently, companionably taking in the day. Much madness not to ask her to parse a single poem, but divinest sense as well.
The "With Any Luck, Someday" List
- Thich Nhat Hanh - Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author of over 25 books of prose and poetry, all of which bring solace and offer compassionate, practical wisdom (start with Peace Is Every Step)
- Fareed Zakaria - Indian-American journalist and commentator on world events (Newsweek, Time, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN), whose best-selling The Post American World, Release 2.0 is at the top of my TBR pile
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Nobel-winning novelist and journalist from Colombia, writer of two of my favorite fictions ever: Love In The Time of Cholera and "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" (Yes, he's old and reportedly infirm, but still...)
- Louise Erdrich - Native American novelist who treads Garcia Marquez's path by setting many of her novels in the same physical area and populating them with some of the same characters or their relatives, weaving a rich world over time and texts. Try Tracks, her first novel, and if you like it, jump over to The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse to see entirely new sides of some of the same characters and note Erdrich's evolution as a writer..
- Elie Wiesel - professor, scholar, novelist, Holocaust survivor. Begin with Night.
- Francine Prose - her Reading Like A Writer is a must for all of us. And her darkly comic novel of ideas, A Changed Man, features a character curiously similar to Elie Wiesel (or Simon Wiesenthal...)
- Salman Rushdie - Indian-born British novelist, essayist, children's book writer. Try Haroun & The Sea of Stories (for kids and adults, my review linked) or Shalimar The Clown (definitely for adults, despite the title).
- Margaret Atwood - Canadian fiction writer, essayist, activist. Her short story collection Bluebeard's Egg got me started, and The Robber Bride and Cat's Eye got me hooked. Many of my students began with Oryx and Crake and are now moving archaeologically through her earlier works...
- Maile Meloy - American fiction writer, esp. Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It (review linked) soon to release her first Y.A. novel, The Apothecary
- Stephen Sondheim (a composer/lyricist for good measure) - West Side Story, On The Town, and Sunday In The Park With George, to name a few...
- Ooh! And Harper Lee. She'll be immediately won over and take me into her confidence, offering me editorship of her second - and only unpublished - novel. Wouldn't that be the ultimate readerly coup?? What if her conversation's as stellar as her writing? And we could all find out what she's been up to all these years since To Kill A Mockingbird!
Now tell me who you'd pick, and go visit everybody's choices through The Broke and the Bookish's Top 10 Tuesday blog hop!