Hosted by Christine Tyler, the Spark Blogfest talks about what inspired us as fiction writers into following our creative writing obsession.
She has asked a series of 3 questions, and I answer the first one today( and the last one on the 26th August, Friday).
Christine’s question is:
What book made you realize you’re doomed to be an author?
There are so many books that have inspired me over the years, made me itch to start writing books of my own. When I first read the Sherlock Holmes series by Conan Doyle, I wanted to start writing. When I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, I wanted to write like him. Ditto for The Elephant’s Journey by Saramago, Paula by Isabel Allende, Sula by Toni Morrison, and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I read Emile Zola’s Nana, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and they had me spellbound. I read short stories by Anton Chekov, by Maupassant, by Somerset Maugham, by Alice Munro, Ali Smith and countless other masters of the genre and they had me in thrall.
But there are a few books that I credit with pushing me into writing:
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Complete Works of George Bernard Shawand Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
Hemingway’s book is a powerful universal story of an individual against all odds, and I loved how Hemingway sculpted the story with such economy and skill.
Shaw’s works, which I read as a teenager, encouraged the cynical observer that every writer needs to harbor somewhere within.
I read Rabindranath Tagore’s work (including his wonderful short stories), again as a teen, and the message, power, and musicality of his work has stayed with me.
Thanks, Christine, for hosting such a wonderful blogfest, which made me think back on all the books I’ve read so far.
It was interesting also to sort out the books that spurred me into writing. Given that I started writing in my thirties, it is remarkable that I came across all these three books as a teenager. Writing is a process of sedimentation, of fermentation, and then of renewed inspiration—I understood this today in a much more direct way than I ever have before.
Thanks for coming with me on my journey of reading, and writing. The Spark Blogfest-II will come your way this Friday!
Also, I’m letting Amlokiblogs go into blogfestting mode, and this Wednesday I would be participating in the Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest. Lots of great books to be won at this one, so if you haven’t yet, sign up now!