You are having a dinner party for writers and you can invite five writers — living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love
Because Geek Love is dark and beautiful and deeply creepy. I suspect she would have interesting things to say.
Mary Oliver, poet, Pulitzer Prize winner
Oliver is the author of one of my favourite twentieth century poems, “Wild Geese”. Here she reads it.
Because I am very glad I do not have to be good.
Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds (and many other things)
Because she said “I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish”.
Neal Stephenson, author of Reamde (and many other things)
Because the payoff in the final third of any of Stephenson’s novels is always always always worth what it took to get there as a reader. And because you gotta love a guy who encorporates ancient Sumerian mythology, virtual reality, and a vagina dentata apparatus being used as a personal safety device all in the same novel.
Angela Carter, author of Nights at the Circus (and many other things)
Because her take(s) on magic realism changed how I thought about the world, and now there is no going back.