I have been voraciously reading the Paris Review interviews. In particular, I am fond of the interviews with Annie Proulx, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Joan Didion. Joan Didion! (Joan also has a new book out next year, Blue Nights.) It occurred to me this week, after devouring these incredibly well-conducted and interesting interviews, just how much of my work is informed by the work of women writers.
It's surprising, in a way, to me, because my first novel is basically devoid of women--which was a conscious choice from the beginning, to have removed that kind of perspective from the narrative. I don't know why it was important that I do that. Perhaps in a few years I will have a better sense of it. No promises.
Other women I read, also voraciously: A.M. Homes, Jennifer Egan, Donna Tartt, Katherine Dunn, Janette Turner Hospital, Miranda July, Rosellen Brown, Octavia Butler, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Ruth Reichl, Kathryn Harrison, Sarah Schulman, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, Barbara Kingsolver, Caryl Churchill, Amy Bloom. I could go on.
Take this list and go get their books.