Authors I turn to…
When trying to explain or describe aspects of social life and writing, there are a few authors I regularly turn to for assistance: not least because they’ve captured the essence of what I want to say.
My groundbreaking discover was Doris Lessing‘s The Grass is Singing – a book which sets out the issue of the ‘Black fear’ as whites experienced it in South(ern) Africa in a way no other author has been able to do so as far as I’m concerned. Bryce Courtney‘s The Power of One comes close but tends to be more time specific, as is Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country.
Lessing’s The Cleft, appeals to me for two reasons: a social commentary on complacency (a point which appeals as it’s divided feminists from female consciousness) and from a literary perspective in that she successfully wrote a credible story from the point of view of a 5th century BC Roman historian who was male; the complete opposite of The Grass is Singing and her book on Cats.
— Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) 15 December 2016
Reference to Animal Farm, The Road to Wigan Pier, Down and Out in Paris and London (amongst various others others), provide an instant connection for reader and writer to a contextual setting of life in the interwar years in Britain whilst still remaining topical today. Orwell for me is an author who had an incredible insight into the enduring (not always endearing) traits of society and humanity – something I see in CS Forester‘s writing too.
In similar vein, Jane Smiley is an author I turn to for advice on writing and reading. Discovering her 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel was an eye-opener and a huge relief. Not being a novelist myself but having views and opinions about them, I was greatly relieved to discover that Jane confirmed (from an academic perspective) what I’d been suspecting. I regularly refer authors who feel they have to write to rules to what she’s said.Share