Laughter, sadness, joy, outrage. A good writer has the ability to bring about these and other emotions in his or her readers. The following are some of the authors who have done just that.
Philip K. Dick. He is known primarily for his science fiction books and short story collections (all of which I’ve read), but his mainstream novels, ignored for the most part, are also deserving of praise. And while some of his books have plot problems, his storytelling style is always captivating and quite unique. His most famous work, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, was turned into the movie, Blade Runner.
Torey Hayden. Most of her books deal with her experiences as a special education school teacher. Her caring nature and sharp intuition shine through. Her most well-known book is One Child, which has been popular everywhere that it’s been published. This and another book, Murphy’s Boy, were turned into television movies.
Augusten Burroughs. His most famous book, Running With Scissors, was turned into a same-named movie. His memoirs are told in a clever and witty fashion. His books are so entertaining that I made a point to read his brother’s autobiographical book when it was first published (which I also loved), as the family dynamics were so riveting.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky. His stuff is intense. I love it. I imagine that reading his novels in the original Russian must be mind-blowing. For a summation of his life and works, you can go here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Dostoyevsky
Anton Chekhov. He’s known more for his plays, but I find immense satisfaction from the enormous collection of short stories that he produced. I’ve always found his stories entertaining, thoughtful and oftentimes, extremely poignant. His character studies are a marvel. His earlier stories are a bit shaky at times but are, nevertheless, enjoyable. Check out his marvelous quotes on Twitter: twitter.com/dailychekhov
Albert Camus. His novels were my introduction to the French Algerian experience but his books are much more than that and will probably leave you thinking for a long time. Also, the narrative technique employed in The Fall is intriguing.
Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her family’s adventures, as they travel through the west, are delightful. I fell in love with her books (after watching the television series, Little House on the Prairie) as a child and bought up all her books. Years later, I read her other writings and those of family members.
Esmeralda Santiago. Her books are enormously enjoyable. Her first two memoirs start with her early Puerto Rican experiences and go through her adolescent and young adult period in New York City. When I Was Puerto Rican, my favorite in the series of three, is completely charming.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A Nobel Prize winner and former journalist, his epic, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was my fantastic introduction to magic realism. I find his novels beautiful and have read some in the original Spanish. I must make special mention of Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The brilliant, deceptively simple storytelling devices that are used in this short novel left me awestruck.
Dave Barry and Christopher Moore. They’re both funny and outrageous. Dave Barry’s ‘I’m not making this up’ line draws me in every time. And if you want big entertainment, read Big Trouble, Dave Barry at his utter best; Christopher Moore sometimes has vampire characters in his books and if that’s not enough, check out the title of his latest book. Wait. For. It… Ready? It’s called Bite Me: A Love Story.
If your interest is sparked, below are links to some websites for you to explore.
Philip K. Dick: totaldickhead.blogspot.com/
Torey Hayden: www.torey-hayden.com/
Augusten Burroughs: www.augusten.com/site/index.php
Albert Camus: www.camus-society.com/
Laura Ingalls Wilder: www.lauraingallswilder.com/
Esmeralda Santiago: www.esmeraldasantiago.com/
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: www.themodernword.com/gabo/
Dave Barry: www.davebarry.com/
Christopher Moore: www.chrismoore.com/