1…Louise Erdrich - I find her writing fresh and inspirational, it is gritty without being too disturbing and usually I can't put her books down until i have read the whole thing! Favourite: Tacks
2...Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast books have been favourite since I was a teenager, but Peake was also a talented artist and illustrator. Reading Peake will take you to a fantastical yet slightly dark fantasy world.
3...T. C. Boyle - I only came to his writing relatively recently. His books are gritty yet humourous with undercurrents of truth shot through. Best read - Drop City.
4...Esther Freud - I really like Esther Freud. Her books are often set in Norfolk and Suffolk and she writes in a way that you feel you might know the chracters. Her books are atmospheric, emotionally charged you find yourself swept along by them like a boat at high tide. Best read : The Sea House.
5...Alice Hoffman - wow, Alice Hoffman is such a great writer, and her books are always different so you never know what to expect. She really knows how to make you attached to a character yet then once you are hooked you might discover some dark secret or quirk that you weren't expecting. Best read: Blue Diary
6...Tolkien - yes corny I know but sometimes those oldies are the best. I have included Tolkien because both Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit made a huge impact on me as a child. I read both of them to my son a year or so ago and really enjoyed them again. you have to admire the mans vision.
7...Ellen Gilchrist - very different from the other authors on my list. I got into Ellen Gilchrists novels when I was about 18, and there isn't one I haven't enjoyed. In reality I would never relate to her characters and i probably wouldn't like some of them. But she writes in a funny and sympathetic manner and I find I want to know more about what happens to them. She has also written several books of short stories which I really enjoyed. Best reads: "Light can be Both Wave and Particle", "I cannot Get You Close Enough", "In the Land of Dreamy Dreams".
8...Tobias Wolff - Most well known for his semi-autobiographical novel "This Boy's Life" that was made into a film starring Robert De Nero and Leonardo Di Caprio. However Wolff is a versatile and riveting writer. His perfered genre seems to be the short story which he excels at. Best Reads: "The Night in Question", "Hunters in the Snow".
9...Michael Doris - Despite the contoversy around Michael Dorris and his death several years ago, there is no getting away from the fact that he was an extremely good writer and depite my feelings abot hihis personal life - I still love his novels. Best read: "yellow Raft in Blue Water"
10...Donna Tartt - although she has so far only written two books, Donna Tartt is a truly excellent writer, I enjoyed her first novel "A Secret History" several years ago, but didn't expect her second to be very good. How wrong I was, The Little Friend is a novel stuffed to the gills with detail, mood and evocative description - yet I never lost the thread of what was goingg on and I was desperate to see how it would all end. My only disappointment was that when I finished that there were no more books by this author to read!
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