Friday, March 13, 2015

The Books in Your Book's Bibliography

I like students in my creative writing elective to keep a record of the books in their own book's bibliography, a list of texts that inform their writing. These books are not referenced directly in their writing but rather serve as models or mentor texts. The books might inform any aspect of their work (plot, setting, pace, tone, dialogue, etc.), and it's up to them to figure out what they need.  For me, certain texts remain perennially close to my heart and probably (hopefully) inform my writing without me consciously thinking about them. Others, I seek out intentionally to inform specific projects. Below is my much loved bibliography for a recent project:

The Maine Woods, Thoreau; Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link; The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides; The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery; The Riverman, Aaron Starmer; Liar and Spy, Rebecca Stead; The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway; The BFG, Dahl; A Snicker of Magic, Natalie Lloyd; Swamplandia!, Karen Russell; The Tiger's Wife, Tea Obreht; Doll Bones, Holly Black