The good folks at Unbridled Books conspired to give me the day off from Linus’s Blanket. So I’m off today…eating and New Yearing. Do you have foods that you have to eat on New Year’s Day? My family has superstitious requirements like collard greens, black-eyed peas and ham. Go figure.
Erica Abeel, is a writer whose work I have greatly enjoyed, and she stops by today, courtesy of Unbridled, to relieve me of my duties and to tell us all about the folks she would invite to this first dinner of the New Year. Thanks Erica! The guest list looks like a kicker.
First on the list would be Henri Beyle (aka Stendhal). His mix of romanticism, irreverence, and political astuteness would add just the right flavor to the evening. I would welcome his comments on Obama’s tax cuts. I’d also include Martin Amis because I’ve been reading him lately (alone among Americans, it seems) and his gorgeous sentences blow me away. I’d want to pry shamelessly into his private life to learn more about his current marriage to “the American heiress” and why he may or may not have stopped cattingaround. Given that sexual conquest is so important a theme in his work, I wonder how he manages the role of uxorious husband. Also on the list would be Jonathan Franzen. As a New Yorker, I’m fascinated by his Minnesotans. Also, “Freedom” is deemed by some critics more ethnography than fiction and I’d welcome a discussion on the difference between the two. Finally, I’d invite Raymond Carver because the nakedness and honesty of his sentences both move and make me laugh out loud. And I would ask him whether his blue collar characters would be fooled by the media barrage and actually vote Republican.
Erica Abeel is the author of five books including the novel Conscience Point available in paperback from Unbridled Books. She blogs for Huffington Post and regularly covers film for indieWIRE.com and IFC.com.