What three authors (this is imaginary so they can be dead or alive) would you like to invite for dinner and an evening of conversation? If you read the NY Times Book Review, you’ll know I’ve imitated one of the questions they occasionally use for their author interview each week. Authors as a whole are rather solitary beings, otherwise how can we write? I know I am, so you probably don’t want to invite me, although I do have some good stories from all my years of an “interesting” life.
I would invite Mark Twain, but I’m not sure if I should call him Mark or Sam or Mr. Twain or Mr. Clemens. I’d better find out first so no social gaffes on my part. I think he is really funny in a witty way and wise about people (but not, apparently, about finances, so he might be happy to have a free dinner).
Charles Dickens would be on the list because he must have something intelligent to say, how else could he have written this great first line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, . . . .” He, too, seems very wise about people and a masterly observer of his times.
Mary Oliver would receive an invitation partly because I would want another woman and a poet so she solves both of those requirements. I think she would smooth out the conversation with lyrical insights that might illustrate the connectedness of all things including our relationship to the natural world and how that reflects us at times.
So, who are your choices and why did you select them?