My Top Five (or Six) Literary Dinner Companions

Wouldn’t you love to sit across the table and share a meal with your favorite author?  If given the opportunity, I wonder what questions I would pose to my literary idol?  Would I ask them how they created my favorite character?  Maybe I would solicit some writing tips and techniques.  Or would I just have a casual conversation about their favorite vacation destination and go-to candy bar?  Next question: How would I ever pick just one?

The following are some of my top contenders (living or deceased), in no particular order:

Sherman Alexie:  I would choose Sherman just because I would love to just sit and listen to him.  He has this beautiful, singsongy voice.  It mesmerizes me and takes me to beautiful places.  But I also find him to be a fascinating person with like-minded ideas on the world.  A dinner with Sherman  would include laughter, storytelling and tears.  He is definitely a top-contender.  The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian is favorite of mine.

Joseph Campell: Joseph is on the top of the list for people I admire most in the world.  His work on comparative mythology, relating to the human experience, is compelling beyond words.  A dinner with Joseph would be fascinating and enlightening.  My only fear in selecting Mr. Campbell is that one dinner would never be sufficient, and I would be left with a thousand unanswered questions.  I highly recommend The Hero With A Thousand Faces.

David Sedaris:  I find David irreverently hysterical.  I am afraid (or maybe it is a secret desire) that in the course of the meal I would undoubtedly say something stupid and end up as a character in one of his hilarious stories.  I bet he is an Almond Joy kind of guy.  His Holidays on Ice makes me laugh out loud.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:  As much as I would love to choose him because he wrote one of the most impactful books I have ever read, Between the World and Me,  I suspect that I would be so awestruck and humbled that I might come across as a bumbling fool.  Maybe sharing a cup of coffee is a safer bet with Ta-Nehisi.

Maya Angelou:  Simply because Maya is not only one of my favorite authors, but also just a beautiful person.  And who wouldn’t want to have dinner sitting across one of the most beautiful souls in the world.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of the few books that I have read over and over again.

Neil Gaiman:  Because I find him absolutely fascinating and so multi-faceted in his talents.  And he strikes me as a casual guy that I could just sit across from and have a delightful evening.  If his wife, Amanda Palmer joined us, it would be an absolute bonus.  I love anything he does, but the Ocean at the End of the Lane will be always be one of my favorites.

If you could choose one author, living or deceased, to dine with for one evening, who would that be and why?  You don’t have to limit yourself to one.  I couldn’t.

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