With proper tools and an anvil, blacksmiths shape metal into something that lasts for years. Great writers are similar, working wonders with their tools and devices: vocabulary, imagination, and something to type on. PWC board members were drawn to the creative force of the following writers, their words magnetic.
From top left, clockwise
JD Salinger, Isaac Asimov, Richard North Patterson, and Muriel Barbery
My favorite author is JD Salinger. I know he has passed away and has a somewhat limited oeuvre, nonetheless his characters and story telling ability have stayed with me since I first read him in high school. My favorite of his works is Nine Stores which contain which contain what for me is the ultimate short story: The Laughing Man. One can say that the disaffected post WW II writers are passe , however Salinger’s writing still elicits a tremendous emotional response from me. For those who are interested in Salinger you might enjoy a recent work by Joanna Rackoff titled, My Salinger Year. The book is a memoir of the time Rakoff worked for Salinger’s literary agency when he was much older and reaching the end of his life.
Ed Krizek @edkrizek
My journey through favorite authors provides a history of my evolution as a person. During junior high school, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury were my intergalactic guides. In high school, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare were my literary gods. In college, Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett helped me understand that life sucks and then you die. In adulthood, Tony Hillerman and PD James entertained me by solving murders. When I was ready to write, Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg gave me permission to find my creative center. Joseph Campbell and Brian Boyd added a scientific base to my writing dreams by proving what I already knew in my heart — that human beings are storytelling animals. That led to my admiration for Frank McCourt, Kate Braestrup, James McBride and hundreds of other memoir writers who share their lives with readers through the lens of story. Today, my favorite author is anyone who attempts to turn life into literature.
Jerry Waxler @jerrywaxler
French author, Muriel Barbery, combines a poetic voice, uncompromising intelligence, exquisite writing, profound questions, essays about our lives, wonder and luminosity all in a philosophical fairytale often focused on the terrifying beauty of art. The cherry plum test she offers as a gift to all of us who dare to try it will make a happy home in your mind. I challenge you to discover her NYTimes best selling novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
– Susan Robbins @Sisterwriter
Richard North Patterson first caught my reader’s eye with his book, The Race. Its politically driven plot took me on a ride I couldn’t abandon if I had wanted to. Later, I explored the pages of Eclipse and became hooked to his prose. Especially in this book, which was more of a geopolitical thriller, I got to know the depths of human relationships oscillating between continents. Lastly, Patterson (yes there is another besides James) gets dark with The Spire, where mentorship goes awry on a college campus and secrets obscure morality. Because of his style and rich characters, I claim Richard North Patterson my fave.
– Uriah Young @UriahYoung