Notes on Writerly Influences
More literary gossip please! Tell about the time you, Hunter S. Thompson, and Johnny Depp did 'shrooms at Joshua Tree.
But seriously, thanks for your Masterclass recordings. You, RL Stine, and Judy Blume were the only bright spots on the literary programme; most others revealed themselves as vague narcissists.
I love this essay!! So touching to hear who and what moved you, encouraged you, and helped you to become the great writer you are. I will read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass differently now, and feel the strength and poise and curiosity of Alice as similar to yours .
Cool also to know your relationship to husband didn’t involve him reading your fiction. The fiction is what many readers may think of when they think of you, but this reminds us that there is also another life full of love and absent the horrors you can tap into and describe so well.
Sad some of the male friends’ egos could not cope with being good but not great. So much happiness depends on deciding “that’s was good enough.”
Thank you for sharing this. You have been an incredible influence on my life since I was first introduced to your work way back in 1977 in my sophomore high school English class. While I have not had an "official" mentor, I have always considered you a mentor - all the while as I writing, directing your plays both in New York and Los Angeles. Whenever I hit a block, I stop and pick up work. After I spend an hour or more reading, I go back to work with a renewed purpose. Seeing how you work with students and nurture their imaginations played a direct role in my becoming a high school literature teacher. What I owe you is beyond comprehension and I cannot thank you enough.
I really enjoyed reading this essay. I am a fan of your work and have been curious to learn where all of this started for you and who or what influenced your writing. I think of you as a wonderful role model and admire your great talent, dedication to your writing and independence. I am not a writer, but as a painter I have often wondered when that mentor will appear for me. (Clock is ticking.) What if there is no mentor? By coming back to our “Alice” selves, we can return to the wonder and sense of adventure we first experienced and also call upon her courage. Thank you for the inspiring words!
Thank you for sharing this, Joyce! Sad monsters. I wonder what Lewis Carroll would have made of those men, bitter Barthelme and sanctimonious Gardner. I just picked up a Folio edition of Alice and Looking Glass. I'm waiting for a rainy day to read them again. I managed without a mentor as well. A few influences, but I prefer to take from here and there, as most people are far from perfect.