WRITERS WHO HAVE INSPIRED ME
There are so many writers who have influenced me over the years. Sometimes this has been due to their choice of imagery, sometimes the themes that they pull out. In every case though - I've been left feeling moved, taken to a different place.
I've listed a few of my favourites below, with a tiny note on each. I plan to write more of a feature on each one over time - as well as adding in other new favourites as I discover them. This list is not complete however, and doesn't even touch on the poets and musicians who have had a massive influence on me.
For thoughts and insights into my own writing, have a look through my Blog.
My sister bought me the Chaos Walking trilogy when they first came out. She knew how I would feel about them. Their handling of such profound themes in such a sensitive and rousing way, seemed tailor-made to affect me. And when A Monster Calls came out, I stayed up until 2am reading it, and then 3am just trying to stop crying.
I bought Grief is the Thing With Feathers as soon as it came out, and it spoke to grief in a way that was profoundly true and which I hadn't found before.
The explorations into what it means to be human, the blurring of genre lines to best look at profound themes, the incredible sense of pathos in his characterisations. The meditative stream of consciousness that he allows his characters to engage in, as with Hesse, is the writing I find most powerful.
Man's Search for Meaning is a book that should be read by everyone. Frankl's humble, quiet tone is like a beacon in the darkness.
From the fable-like Narcissus and Goldmund to the meditative Siddhartha, this is a writer that sees so much, lays bare so much, and touches the core of humanity.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
An author I started reading voraciously from when I was thirteen. I loved the distortion of reality, the magic threaded through the everyday. My favourite remains Love in the Time of Cholera.
D M Thomas
I couldn't think of much else for months after reading The White Hotel. I found it astonishing, crushing, seminal. I have reread it at least 5 times, taking something new away on each occasion.
I read His Dark Materials as an adult, and my imagination was allowed to catch fire. I am still devastated by the death of Hester.
The fantastical realms, the human truths, the darkness and the lyricism, the story-telling.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I will never forget the first time I read The Little Prince. It was magical. I was taken to an entirely different place, and I fell in love.
Eerily beautiful writing, with poetry, folklore and humane concerns at its heart. His writing has the touch of magic. I went to see him read when I was a 20-year old undergraduate at Oxford, and treasure the book he signed for me that night.
The sublime Jonathan Livingstone Seagull made a lasting impression on me after reading it when I was about 10 years old.
I was lucky enough to study Wuthering Heights for my A-Level, with a very talented teacher. Rather than reducing the story to bare analysis, it unlocked a wealth of wonder for me. I don't think I have ever read anything that surpasses the natural imagery that is found in this book.