This weeks Booking Through Thursday asks: Do you have a favorite author? Have you read everything he or she has written? Did you LIKE everything? How about a least favorite author? An author you wanted to like, but didn’t?
When anyone mentions “favorite” author, I feel myself getting anxious, for I’m just uncomfortable naming a favorite anything. I have favorites, certainly, but picking only one is extremely troublesome for me.
I have authors whose writing I love to read – from Jane Austen to Barbara Pym, Susan Miller, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gail Godwin, P.D. James and Elizabeth George, Richard Russo – a small list of favorites whom I turn to time and again when I feel the need to savor writing that’s graceful and timeless. I have read or will read anything these writers place on the table before me. On occasion, just like any loved one will do, they have disappointed me. But it’s in my nature to be forgiving, and I return to their next offering with eager anticipation.
There are other writers whose lives interest me perhaps more than their work…Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Eudora Welty…I have devoured journals, letters, and multiple biographies of each.
I confess no great love for the work of these “masters” – Charles Dickens, Jack London, Thomas Hardy, or Ernest Hemingway. Nor do I care for the popular novels of John Grisham, Dan Brown, or Tom Clancy. Just not my cup of tea. And though I hear great praise for the work of Toni Morrison (her new novel, A Mercy, seems to be on every “best of 2008 list”) I’ve never been able to finish any of her books.
Now tell me, who are your favorites?