"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pivotal Books

What one book had the greatest impact on your writing? I don't mean the book that made you want to be a writer. I'm talking about a novel or short story collection that hit you so hard it changed the direction of your work. For me, it was Carolyn Chute's The Beans of Egypt, Maine, which I first read in 1987. I'll explain why next week.

I'm interested in hearing from the rest of you. If you have the time, e-mail me (patricksbagley at yahoo.com) a paragraph or two about your "pivotal book" and how it has informed your own writing.

I plan on posting the responses here next Wednesday, so try to get them to me by February 10.

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