If you could have a conversation with any living author, who would you choose? Why?
If you could have a conversation with any author who is no longer living, who would you choose? Why?
I'd love to talk with Alison Weir. I've always been fascinated with English history (not British; don't care for the post-Stuart monarchs much). Reading her nonfiction is like listening to her tell a story. I'd just love to listen to her!
As for the writers who are gone, I'm pretty sure most people will pick Shakespeare, so I'll be different. I'd like to meet Chaucer. He seems to have had a remarkable life. Part of the court of Richard II, his wife's sister was mistress to and last wife of John of Gaunt. His stories wouldn't be boring!
For a living author, probably Frank McCourt. He has had such an interesting life and has interesting perpsectives on education. For deceased, Emerson. He's my hero. Love all the nonconformist stuff and I love teaching Emerson.
My living author would be Tim O'Brien. I find his "In the Lake of the Woods" to be one of the most interesting books I've read in years. It has led me to many of his other books, and none have disappointed.
My deceased author would be Nathaniel Hawthorne. His work is wonderful, and there are lots of things I'd like to ask about his life. If we're not only dealing with fiction, I'd love to spend a weekend with Thoreau/Emerson ... or a weekend at Brook Farm! And if poetry is included, I'd love to meet Emily Dickinson.
For a living author, I think I would have to say that I would like to meet Khaled Hosseini. I have yet to read a negative review of his book The Kite Runenr, and I have talked to so many people who have been impacted by that book, even people who do not enjoy reading. The conflicts that he portrays throughout the book are well written, and the themes are very timely for the world in which we live today.
For an author who is no longer living, I would agree with Post 5. William Faulkner's writing never ceases to amaze me, and I would love to discuss with him his writing process.
As cliche as it may sound, I'd have to go with Shakespeare. I love his plays, and I'd really like to know if he did in fact write them all, as so many people claim he did not. I'd also love to talk to Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Mary Shelley. I absolutely love their works. I have studied their lives a bit, and I'd really like to see how accurate these histories are.
In terms of living authors, I'd also have to go with Alison Weir. The time periods she focuses on (in non-fiction and fiction) are absolutely fascinating to me. I would also like to meet Jeannette Walls, writer of her memoir The Glass Castle, which I'm reading right now. From what I've read about her, she seems so well adjusted considering what a difficult childhood and adolescence she seems to have had.
There are definitely others I'd like to meet, many of which have been mentioned here already. Great choices!
Since I just finished The Road, I would like to have a sit-down with Cormac McCarthy. My vested interested has always been "beginning of the world", "end of the world", and utopian literature and I would love to pick his brain about some of the details he included in that book.
I would love to talk to CS Lewis as well but about his non-fiction and his inner battle with Christianity that is so apparent in his writing. I can see the stages he goes through with his faith in his books and essays and I think I may have gone through a similar process cumulating in where I stand now in my beliefs as a Christian.
I'm reading the most amazing book right now - The Historian - and I would love to talk to the author, Elizabeth Kostova. I'd love to hear about her travel experiences and research she did in order to write this story.
Shakespeare, of course, as I just think he would have been a fun person to go have a pint with. Also Jane Austen - What a fascinating woman to sit down and chat with for awhile.
For a living author I would love to meet Leon Uris because his historical fiction helped to spark my interest in history, and I would like to know how he researched his books.
In nonliving authors the ones I would like to meet are the ones whose creativity intrigues me such as poet, e.e. cummings, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy. I had the pleasure of meeting another of my favorite authors, Isaac bashevis Singer before he died and the experience as well as the conversation greatly increased my enjoyment of his work.
If not Shakespeare, then William Faulkner. I would love to have discussed the process he used to write.
My living author would be the co creators of HBO's "The Wire" David Simon and Ed Burns have written books and Simon used to write for the Baltimore Sun. But The Wire was the most worthwhile effort I have ever seen on television by far. Fascinating stuff.
Stephen King. I am fascinated by his arc as a writer, from pure pop culture to narrative and character master. His later books show a grasp for both plot and language that can challenge Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I'd like to discuss with him his favorite authors.
And for those who haven't read it - I would like to put in a plug for his novel "Bag of Bones". A great yarn, and very poetic!
King aside - I would agree with Angelou and Rowling and add Margaret Atwood.
Dead authors - Jane Austen and definitely Chaucer!
For a living author, I'm not sure...probably Maya Angelou or Joyce Carol Oates. They are both such amazing women...Angelou because of the adversity she has overcome and Oates because she is a literary genius and her stories are amazingly twisted LOL.
For a deceased author, I'd pick Robert Frost or Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway lived the life of a rock star in so many ways and had a tumultuous personal life, so he'd be very interesting to talk to. Frost is my all-time favorite poet and I'd simply want to talk to him because his poetry brings me peace.
For a living author, I would love to sit and chat with J. K. Rowling. I'm working on a fantasy novel myself, and I'd love her input and feedback. I'd also love to talk to her about how she manages to keep track of all her characters and subplots from novel to novel!
As for one no longer living, Joseph Campbell is probably at the top of my list. He may not have written novels or plays, but his work has had a huge impact on my teaching. I'd love to thank him! The Hero's Journey is a staple in my instructional strategy.