Wayson, visiting recently, began at one point to reel off the stories and books he considers essential to his writing practice – ones he turns to regularly. I ran to get a pencil and paper, to write them down and share them with you.
Herewith: Wayson’s Essential Stories and/or Books. Some of them, at least.
Katherine Mansfield: Miss Brill, The Doll’s House
Shirley Jackson: The Lottery
William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily
Frank O’Connor: Guests of a Nation, First Confession
Truman Capote: A Christmas Memory
Isak Dineson: Out of Africa
Frank Conroy: Stop Time
Ernest Hemingway: The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Jeanette Walls: The Glass Castle
Laurie Lee: Cider with Rosie
Anything by E. B. White
That should keep you busy for a bit.
Last night, Sam and I watched Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” – what a sublime film. The potato dance! Wonderful to see something so rich, so beautiful, at nearly 90 years old. Like my 86-year old student and friend whose birthday we celebrated last week.
Soon all of this hoo-ha will be over. I went to a class at the Y this morning and had to leave early when the teacher put on very loud disco Christmas music – unbearable. Just about every film on TV is about Christmas. Enough! I am feeling more and more Jewish, sick of the excess. Give it a #$@ rest.
But when Eli arrives, so will my good mood.
Five hours later: Just went to see “Silver Linings Playbook” with Sam. For once, a movie that worked for both of us – really enjoyable, with good writing, acting, story. He was critical of the fairytale ending, and I agree – though that’s what’ll bring in the crowds. But it’s a complex, very well-written, funny and moving film with marvellous acting from a great cast, and it was perfect for both mother and son. Rare. And then we had Thai food and a great talk.
And a Merry Christmas to you too.