In my personal blog I recently posted a writing prompt:
You are having a dinner party for writers and you can invite five writers-
living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Then I posted my first round of picks.
It will probably surprise no one that I can imagine a second dinner party that would be just as interesting (to me, at least):
Because of The Power and the Glory, and even later works like Monsigneur Quixote. And because of one line in The Third Man: “The graves lay under the trees like wolves.”
Because of the opening line in The Diviners. I like her work so much that I named one of my children after a Margaret Laurence character.
Because I love a big nineteenth century novel that is solid like a Studebaker. Middlemarch is like a parfait, it has layers.
Because her writing exposes the complexity of human emotions like a flensing knife exposes blubber.
Because Under the Volcano can be read as though it is a tarot card spread. Seriously, it’s a tour through the major arcana in the Rider-Waite deck.
And, just in case someone declined the invite (I’m looking at you, Alice Hoffman; I’ve heard you can be an elitist), I’d invite Tim Powers just because he wrote about an evil djinn that hovers over the city of Moscow and inspires the KGB to even greater acts of terror and wretchedness.
3 thoughts on “Dinner Party II”
Can we just add some eye-candy? Too shallow? Sorry!
Ursula K. LeGuin, Doris Lessing and Nadine Gardiner — because I don’t think you can name three other authors who have seen more deeply into the human condition and written so eloquently and passionately about characters caught up in the lives of our times.
Laozi — because no one has compiled a better tome on the art of living, nor done so with such breathtaking concinnity.
The Dalai Lama — because no one of such global significance began life in more humble circumstances, nor shows more humility and compassion in the face of such a life of gravity.
btw — LeGuin has published her own translation of the Tao te Ching… and it’s a pretty good one. I am sure Laozi would love it.
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