Today, I was reminded of an odd little exercise I did back in November 2010. It was one of those Facebook shares that sometimes prove irresistible:
The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it.
Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will
always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no
more than fifteen minutes.
This was my list, which I seem to recall typing one-handed, while breastfeeding my son:
I thought it would be interesting to write another list this evening and see how they compared (the purple names are those that appear in both):
There are two writers who I hadn't read back then - Joan London and Helen Garner - but who I have since discovered and found hugely inspiring. Rose Tremain, J.D. Salinger and Kate Atkinson have been favorites of mine for a long time, but for whatever reason, didn't make it into the previous list. If I could include two more, Richard Flanagan and A.S. Byatt would have to be added back in because they are both brilliant writers, whose work I love. Initially I was surprised by a few of mine, but upon reflection, I think it's an interesting mix of male and female, historical and
contemporary, literary and commercial, with writers originating from Australia,
America, India and the UK. I wonder how it will evolve over the next five years...