Do you ever wonder what your favorite author was thinking during the writing process? What would you ask them if you had the opportunity? If you had one chance to meet with any author, dead or alive, who would you choose? To kick off summer reading season, we asked the GPL staff to share some of their picks. Check out some of the responses below!
“I would love to spend a day with Herman Hesse, walking the forests around his adopted village of Montagnola which is perched at the edge of the Swiss Alps overlooking Lake Maggiore. His are the only works of any author that I have read repeatedly and I have dozens of questions. I would also enjoy asking about certain works of his that have remained impossible for me to get through and ones that seem new each time I read them, but I would be most interested in learning of his experience when he visited India as an aspiring writer and how that time shaped his career. And I’d sit on the deck of his home at the end of the day and watch him paint watercolors of the alpine view.”
Megan, Adult Services
“I haven’t actually read a lot of his work, but Ernest Hemingway has got to be towards the top of the list. I am a lover of all things culinary, so I would definitely be interested in joining one of his dinner parties (he was famous for his taste in food!). In his book A Moveable Feast, published posthumously, he shows that often the most important thing about eating isn’t the food itself, but the friends that we gather with to enjoy and celebrate it. I am also just a big fan of Paris, and i’d love to hear even more about what it was like to live there in the 1920s.”
Diana, Adult and Latino Services
“I would like to spend a day with Chilean author Isabel Allende because her detailed writing evokes the time period she’s writing about, and her characters gain depth as you read more about their lives. She also has written many types of books–novels, bios, etc.–and always begins writing a new book in January! Another author I’d like to chat with is the Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936). In his short life he produced classics of 20th Century Spanish literature. Lastly, current novelist Diana Gabaldon is also on my list, as the Outlander series was one of my all-time favorites long before it came to television.”
“Right now I’m reading lots of Brian Doyle, and I’d have a million questions for him. Based on his writing, I think he’d be glad to discuss things at length. He lives in the Northwest Portland, I think, and he’s got such an interesting worldview. His language is poetic, he’s got an amazing eye for the smallest details, and his characters are the perfect expression of humanity, with a dash of the divine. He’s of Irish Catholic descent, a poet, novelist, nonfiction writer, and father of twins. His novel Mink River is one of my all time favorites, and I can’t wait to read his new book, Chicago.
Gail, Children’s Services
“I would love to spend the day with Jane Austen. Of course, I would have to fly to London to meet with her -it would be the honorable thing to do. I’d love to see her reaction to our screen obsessed society. I’d also love to tell her how “on the mark” she was about people and their interactions and how she is still relevant, even today.”
Christa, Adult Services
“If i had the chance to meet any author, I would love to spend a day with Emily Bronte who is the author of one of my favorite books, Wuthering Heights. I would have so many questions to ask about Heathcliffe and Catherine. What inspired her to write such a great but deeply tragic love story? Would she have written more if not for her untimely death? How does she feel about the numerous adaptations that have come about from her only work of literature? Plus, I love the fact that she’s one of a few sisters, similar to myself!”
Carol, Adult Services
“Erik Larson is one of my favorite writers. He writes about historical events with a novelistic flare. He dramatically captures the essence of the time period and fully develops the historical characters. He puts the reader right into the action. His most recent book, “Dead Wake” is about the oft-told story of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. Larsen not only provides us with a gripping and detailed account of the tragic event, but weaves into the narrative just how much a confluence of events led to the disaster. I’m always excited to hear that Erik Larson has written a new book.”