In no particular order:
Harper Lee. Her editor said that her characters walked onto the page. As a writer, I know what that means and how hard it is to do. Show, don’t tell; show, don’t tell, that’s the mantra.
Carson McCullers. She was twenty-three when The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was published. How could she have lived so much to be able to write such a great novel at so young an age? I’m not sure I want to know.
Elmore Leonard. His street dialogue is pitch perfect.
Hemingway. He changed the way Americans read, and write.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby may actually be the great American novel.
Kingley Amis. Brillaint and funny. Read Lucky Jim. You’ll see what I mean.
The list goes on: Jane Austin, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Flaubert. I couldn’t name them all.
Contemporary writers? I love Alan Furst, have read all of his novels. Ditto, Walter Mosely. Ditto Ian McEwan. I also like George Pelecanos and Richard Price. They know how to write bad guys and flawed good guys.
James LePore is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.