Amy Tan chooses five writers to read for writing inspiration


Renowned author lists his personal favorites

1. Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich

My first choice would be Louise because her book Love Medicine that has a conversational narrative. It won the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award. This particular book really opened my eyes and inspired me to write.

2. Rabih Alameddine

The work of Lebanese-American writer Rabih Alameddine is inspiring in its own right, especially if you really want to look at the depth of writing and the art of ideas.

3. Gabriel García Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The book that I would recommend and that most people would have heard of is Love in the time of cholera. The way it starts, “It’s inevitable …” and then it gives a distinctive sensory clue. It’s such a powerful start. A story isn’t just a narrative, it’s what you know at the end of every sentence you write.

4. JM Coetzee

JM Coetzee
JM Coetzee

John Maxwell Coetzee’s book Disgrace, for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature four years after its publication. He has a bunch of books that are so in-depth about suffering, and he has something very important in his stories to always say.

5. Alice Munro

Alice munro
Alice munro

Her books are not about grand politics or “ethnic cleansing,” but she is about the foundation of human nature and community, which really concerns the rest of the world.

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