Why I Love...A Multitude of Authors

As someone who has made books and reading their profession, it is very difficult for me to choose a favorite author.  But there are several who stand out in my eyes and that's why this week's "Why I Love" is dedicated to my favorite author...or authors in my case :)

First, and foremost, I have to include Italo Calvino who is a notable Cuban-Italian writer.  I first encountered the brilliance that is Calvino's writing in an undergrad English course and have since sought out everything he's written, even going so far as to take a grad course dedicated to him.  The first book I read of his was The Baron in the Trees.  Pure magical brilliance!  He's also written a lot of literary theory and critiques on the notion of time as it's represented in literature.  I have to say that my absolute favorite novel by Calvino is If on a winter's night a traveler... which is a unique piece of work in that it doesn't follow the traditional formula of novels at all.  The reader is heavily involved and constantly stunted right when they're getting into the story.  It's absolute literary genius!  I highly recommend it.  In addition to these works, Calvino was also involved with a group of writers and mathematicians in a society called Oulipo whose goal was to write stories and novels using mathematical principles and techniques.  He's a genius.  READ HIS STUFF!

Recently, I have come across a contemporary American author (not normal for me as I tend to gravitate toward European authors) who has completely captured my heart and attention.  The first novel I read by Chris Bohjalian was Skeletons at the Feast.  This was a selection for my Edinburgh book club, which I will be forever grateful to for introducing his writing into my life, and I loved it for several reason.  First, it is set during my favorite era, WWII, and it's a fascinating story.  So good.  Since that fateful time I have sought and read everything written by him, including his blog where he discusses just about everything in a very engaging way.  What I love about his writing is that, in every book that I've read so far, he tells the story from several different people's perspectives.  All of his books deal with heavy, interesting, and oftentimes controversial issues and Bohjalian does a brilliant job at making these issues accessible to the reader while simultaneously treating them with the sensitivity that each requires.  Ever single time I walk into a bookstore now, I always look to see if they have one of his books that I don't already own.  He's amazing.

And, finally, how can I have a post about favorite authors and not include JK Rowling?!?  She's absolutely brilliant.  I think that I will continue to reread HP for the rest of my life.  No joke.  The atmosphere that Rowling was able to create in those books is absolutely astounding and I love getting lost in that world.  They're so intricate and well done.  It was love at first word the moment I opened the first book.  Sigh.  I also loved that, while I was living in Edinburgh, I was able to haunt her writing spots throughout the city (The Elephant House, The Balmoral Hotel, and other less known places).  Yes!  On a happy note though, the last installment of the films comes out this Friday!!

Others who should be on the list (but I had to limit myself):
~Paul Celan
~Jane Austen
~Elizabeth Gaskell
~Jorge Luis Borges
~Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
~Nora Roberts

Comments

  1. I haven't read many of these authors. I hate it but I fall in love with characters and I just don't have a favorite author. I have favorite books and such but...I just don't know. There has to be something wrong with me.

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  2. I completely get that. Most of the authors are ones I encountered in college courses and fell in love with. One in particular, Paul Celan, is who I did my graduate thesis on, so he holds a special place in my heart. Though reading is stuff (mainly poetry) is never a happy occasion as he was a Holocaust survivor. He's absolutely brilliant though.

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