Sunday, 8 March 2009

Influential Writers Meme

Geoffrey Philp tagged me a while ago to name 25 writers who have influenced me, and then tag 25 people. "Influence" does not mean the same thing as "enjoy a lot" so here are some, who have had influence over how I write or how I see the art of writing, in no particular order:

1. Edwin Morgan (poetry)
2. Ruth Padel (poetry and non-fiction)
3. Haruki Murakami (novels and short stories)
4. Polly Clark (poetry)
5. Jackie Kay (poetry, novels, drama)
6. Stephen Pinker (linguistics)
7. Jared Diamond (non fiction)
8. Barbara Kingsolver (novels and essays)
9. Italo Calvino (novels and short stories)
10. Patrick White (novels)
11. Margaret Atwood (poetry)
12. Fernando Pessoa (poetry and creative prose)

Then there are books that are in themselves that are influential even if I am not particularly influenced by the writer's other books, or even if I haven't read anything else by them:

1. Kazuo Ishiguro - The Unconsoled
2. Bahiyyih Nakhjavani - Paper
3. Nuruddin Farah - Maps
4. Orhan Pamuk - My Name is Red
5. Heidi Julavits - The Effect of Living Backwards
6. Salvador Plascencia - People of Paper
7. Peter Adamson - The Tuscan Master
8. Anna Maria Ortese - The Iguana
9. Alan Lightman - Einstein's Dreams
1o. David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

By influenced, I really mean these writers and books have really made me think about the potential of language and how it can be used, not that their influence can necessarily be traced in my poetry! Now I'm supposed to tag 25 people to choose their 25 most influential writers, well I'll give it a go:

Fiona Robyn (who I'm going to be interviewing tomorrow as part of her book blog tour)
Carole Thistlethwaite
Susan Richardson
Weaver of Grass
Dave King
Gautami Tripathy
Alison Wiley
Jacqueline Pearce
James Engelhardt
Rachel Fox
Caroline at Coastguard
Deb and/or Whirling Dervish
Colin Will
Davide Trame

No that's not 25, but feel free to add yourself to the list, if you do, be sure to let me know, so i can come and read your list!


lunarossa said...

I'm so glad you like Calvino. He one of my favourite Italian writers. Have you ever read anything by Eugenio Montale? He was a fantastic hermetic poet (Nobel Prize for Literature in 1975) who could really "play" with the language, sounds and images. "Ossi di seppia" (Cuttlefish Bones() is my favourite collection of poems. If you have the time, have a look at it. Ciao. Antonella

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Antonella - I've read some poetry by Montale, and enjoyed it. i have one of his collections in a bilingual edition and look forward to reading it...

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled by your list! I see a lot of my favourites including Murakami!

Thanks for tagging me for this meme. I will do it and let you know!

Rachel Fox said...

I love the Barbara Kingsolver books that I've read so far. And 'Cloud Atlas'. Interesting lists...I will join in and do mine but it might take me a little while!

PurestGreen said...

Hello? I tried to comment before and got an error. Anymahoo - thanks for visiting me on No Chickadees. What a lovely blog you have. I love your list and am building my own (love Kingsolver, and also Diane Ackerman).

I am also feeling terrible guilt for not having visited Gorgie farm. It's just down the road after all... For shame on me!

You are now being stalked/followed via my google reader:)

Deb said...

Great list, CGP. I like a number of them, but am inclined to read those not familiar. Thanks for the tag; I''ll give it a go. (Might take a while, but it's a good one to think over.)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Juliet - I'll give it a go, but it will take me a few days to iron it out - I am sure I shall put some on the list and then think of some which I like more. An interesting exercise though.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Crafty, this is an interesting many writers I haven;t read!

give thanks for introducing me to them.


Anonymous said...

That's a fascinating list. Italo Calvino changed my way of thinking about writing and life a lot too. Margaret Atwood is a wonderful writer who began her career by self-publishing so she has been influential in that way. And the grumpy unlikeable irritating obnoxious unloved Patrick White, a role-model for any Australian writer.

Rethabile said...

Wot Geoffrey sez. Especially the 1-10 book (not writer) list.

Christy Woolum said...

I love book lists and ideas for new authors. I have to agree with you on Barbara Kingsolver and Margaret Atwood. You posted some I am not familiar with, but that is good!

Karen Harrington said...

What a great list/meme idea. As Geoffrey noted, there are many books here I'm not familiar with, but will have to explore.

Anonymous said...

I didn’t know you were a fan of The Unconsoled. I love that book, and find it hugely memorable. And yet the others in your book list either mean nothing to me, or (in the case of Cloud Atlas) I couldn’t finish. It’s funny how people’s tastes can be so different yet overlap in odd little places.

I once went to a reading by Kazuo Ishiguro, in an independent bookshop where I used to live in north London (he lives in the highly unfashionable district of Golders Green, I believe). He came across as shy, very modest and unassuming – not what one expects of award-winning authors – which quite endeared him to me. And Never Let Me Go is superb too, as I’m sure you know.

Colin Will said...

Just posted my response.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Gautami, Rachel, Deb, Weaver - I look forward to reading your answers!

Purest Green - I'd definitely recommend a visit to Gorgie City Farm....

Geoffrey - thanks for tagging me for this, sorry it took so long!

Paul - well Patrick White may have been grumpy and all the rest, but he did wonderful things with language...

Rethabile, Inland Empire Girl, Karen - its always nice to find new writers!

Golebnik - oh yes Never Let me Go is good too, and When We Were Orphans too. Interestign what you say about his reading...

Crafty Green Poet said...

Colin - thanks for your list

Anonymous said...

I read through your list with interest, thinking some names would be on my list too and others I will have to make a note to look up, then I saw you'd tagged me, so I guess I really will be making a list (lol and thanks --may take me a few days to get my list posted). Btw, I only just read my first Murakami novel (enjoyed very much), and the second is ready to go.

Lucy said...

What an interesting list. I don't think I could do this, I'm always stumped by those 'book that changed your life questions'...

Rachel Fox said...

Long rambling list posted just now!