I got a little upset about this. With further thought I dredged up Flannery O'Conner, Annie Proulx, Carson McCullers, and Jane Austin. Which all together, is a pretty miserable list when you consider how many books I read in a year. And out of those women, how many are still alive and producing material? One.
So I started asking other writers in our program to see if they could suggest anything. From those suggestions I decided on Toni Morrison's Beloved, Nicole Krauss' The History of Love, and Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assasin.
Does this mean something? It feels like it might, although I've got no clue what that is.
I like books with adventure, strong plots, clever language, and beauty. I know for a fact that women must write books like this, but why is it so hard for me to think of them? Why is it that the writers who pop into my head are Haruki Murakami, David Mitchell, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Herman Melville?
* The way that UAA's MFA program is structured, each student is paired with one mentor for each of the three years of the program. The student and that mentor decide on a reading list of three books per month and the student sends the mentor between 25-35 pages of creative writing once a month as well as critical responses to the books read. The pairing of the mentors and mentees occurs in the midst of our two week residency. The day when the pairings are released is like a combination of:
- Christmas morning.
- The first day of school.
- A blind date.