I’ve finally moved 1.5 hours outside of Houston. Being a teacher is a wonderful thing, especially during the months of June, July, and August. I’m sure that the boredom will kick in soon, but at least I have a decent amount of transition time before I begin my graduate journey in the fall.
Yes, I’m still on page 4 in The Known World, but my reading speed should pick up this week (maybe/hopefully). If I had to guess, I would also say that I should be able to read more books since I’m now lacking my DVR box. Now that I’m forced to watch regular tv, I realize how much I miss my little DVR. It was such an important part of my life. At least I still have Blockbuster online, right? Anyway, while you await my next review, here’s another tid bit about Edward P. Jones. Enjoy.
What was the book that most influenced your life or your career as a writer?
I don’t believe that there is any particular book that influenced any “career” I might have. There are books that have meant something to me, like Who Killed Stella Pomeroy. This was the first real book that I ever read. I had long been reading funny (comic) books and books of fairy and folk tales; the latter had all been illustrated with at least one drawing or painting. But Stella was the first without any pictures, only the words of the author. I read it when I was 13, and what struck me was that after years and years of reading funny books and folk tales with pictures, I was reading a book and was able to create a world — this one was Britain in the 1920s and/or 1930s — based simply on the author writing that it was so — the landscape, the people and their words, the mystery situation.
I read it when I was visiting an aunt and cousins in Virginia, while on summer vacation. Decades and decades later, the grandson of friends heard me talk about the book went on the Internet and got me a copy of Who Killed Stella Pomeroy. It’s packed up now so I can’t give you the author’s name. It was, I recall, written by a man who had had an exemplary career with Scotland Yard.
Words and what they can do are what the book gave me.
With my own first book, Lost in the City, I was touched by Joyce’s Dubliners. I was in college and found that very few there knew anything about Washington, D.C., other than that it was the seat of the federal government. They themselves had come from places of communities but they could not envision that with D.C. I was thinking of Joyce and what he had done with Dublin when I began thinking of my own stories.