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If You Could Have Dinner with your Favourite Author Who Would It Be & Why?

(20 Posts)
ZaraW Sat 21-Jun-14 17:55:02

Was having this discussion with friends and we came up with interesting choices.

Mine was D. H. Lawrence as he grew up in the same area as me and my great uncle worked down the mines and have always found it interesting. He also wrote about a time where upward mobility for the working classes was possible and he certainly broke away from his dreary existence from his mining community.

He was also fearless in writing about sex and challenging society and led an unconventional life style for those times. Finally, I love his books Sons and Lovers was a favourite since A Levels and I still love him over 30 years later.

Who would you choose?

HemlockStarglimmer Sat 21-Jun-14 18:06:43

I've had dinner a couple of times with my favourite, living, author. He is a friend of my ex.

Otherwise it would be Georgette Heyer. I love her work and attribute passing history O level to my copious re-readings of Spanish Bride.

CarolineWheatley Sun 22-Jun-14 20:48:49

Dorothy L Sayers. She was so knowledgeable and interesting, as well as being the creator of the fantastic Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane.

notnowImreading Sun 22-Jun-14 20:58:47

AS Byatt. But I would cook because although she describes beautifully coloured meals, I don't like a lot of the things she makes her characters eat (a lot of apples, cheese and radishes). I love her because she is so, so clever.

Cheboludo Sun 22-Jun-14 21:32:42

One of my favourite people is an (bloody good) author so I regularly eat dinner with them grin

I think this is a tricky question. I'd want someone who would be interesting and funny rather than dour and overly serious so I'd probably have to rule out a few of my favourite authors on that basis. So no to Rushdie, no to Attwood, no to Pullman (religion would be bound to crop up), no to Irving (who, I suspect, would wind up talking about wrestling. Zzzzzz). McEwan may well be hilarious but he doesn't give that impression so no to him (I'm sure he's gutted).

There aren't many jokes out of a corpse so no to Carter, Wilde, Austen, Collins, Milton, Donne etc etc. Which leaves me with only funny, interesting, living people.
Hmmmmmm, can I say a dinner party with
1) Sophie Hannah, who is clearly opinionated, interesting, and (I suspect) ever so slightly gossipy in the best way.
2) Jasper Fforde, who simply must be funny based on his books
3) John Connolly, who I have met and who is hilarious as well as lovely.
4) Jonathan Coe, whose books are so funny. (& my DH has met him & confirms he's very nice)
5) Jeffrey Eugenides - because The Virgin Suicides & Middlesex are 2 of the very best contemporary novels. (I threw Donna Tartt's The Little Friend away in disgust 150 pages in because I started reading it immediately after Middlesex which was sublime.)
6) Jo Baker, because I loved Longbourn and she's clearly a huge Austen fan (and her husband's from NI)

I've had two bottles of beer. Forgive me for the essay smile

FiveExclamations Sun 22-Jun-14 21:38:42

Terry Pratchett, I've been gobbling up his books since I was 14 and he's written so much that has resonated with me. Man's made me weep just as often as he's made me laugh.

Dorothy L Sayers and Georgette Heyer would have to fight for second place if Terry Pratchett didn't exist.

Hassled Sun 22-Jun-14 21:40:44

Jane Austen. Because I love her - and we could have a damn good bitch together.

DearGirl Sun 22-Jun-14 21:41:28

Torey Hayden - she is an absolute inspiration of mine. Think Cathy Reichs could also be interesting.

ihatethecold Sun 22-Jun-14 22:00:57

Bill Bryson.
His books make me laugh!

TheSarcasticFringehead Sun 22-Jun-14 22:21:27

Terry Pratchett. Any day. I've obsessively read his books since I was a young teen and I still love them.

Jasper Fforde. Would be disappointing if he wasn't very funny though, but his books make me laugh and think, each time I read them smile

HappydaysArehere Mon 23-Jun-14 02:08:55

Yes, Bill Bryson would be great company. He can see the humour in the ordinary happenings of everyday life. Otherwise it would have to be Dickens with his wit and recollections of Victorian England and his travels in America. Also Henry James who was apparently such a good dinner guest that he was invited out every night of the week. He also had two servants at his house in Rye who used to raid his alcohol supply to such an extent that guests noticed them swaying as they brought the food in. James was too kind to sack them.

7Days Mon 23-Jun-14 09:29:53

I came on to say Bill Byson too, he'd be a bit of craic I imagine.

Also Karen Joy Fowler, having just read We Are All completely Beside Ourselves.
She'd have interesting, thoughtprovoking views without being dour about them.

DontHaveAtv Mon 23-Jun-14 09:49:28

It would have to be Stephen King. He is one of my favourite authors plus he seems like a really nice person. His political views interest me too.

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Jun-14 11:16:39

She's perhaps not my ultimate favourite author, but would have loved to have dinner with Nancy Mitford, so I could ask her endless questions about her life and her sisters.

Also Margaret Atwood, because I just find her fascinating.

Sylvia Plath, mainly because I want to give her a hug and look after her.

T. S. Eliot, though suspect he would actually be a bit boring, so I'd just ask him to recite his works to me whilst I ate grin

7Days Mon 23-Jun-14 11:37:02

margaret atwood would bloody terrify me - she has a v v scary vision of the future, and i'd be afraid she's right. pity as i love her

no dystopians or post apocs at my dinner table

AlexVause Mon 23-Jun-14 18:44:43

Donna Tartt because her books are works of art. I think I'd be a bit intimidated by her though!

HappyWidcombe Mon 23-Jun-14 19:24:10

I'd really like to meet Catherynne M. Valente for her book "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making":

“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again.”


“Wishes of one's old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes. Even when one finds oneself in Fairyland and not at home at all, it is not always so easy to remember to catch the world in it's changing and change with it.”

The context of the above two quotes is the house of baths that the heroine must pass through (and have her courage, and wishes, washed) before she can enter Fairyland. The language is gorgeous and the ideas heavenly, and all presented in a way that a 10 year old can manage. I'm currently reading it to a client (I'm a child psychotherapist) and she's loving it too. It's so full of hope.

But I'd probably be so intimidated by her use of language I'd clam up completely.

QueenAnneofAustriaSpain Wed 25-Jun-14 19:15:01

Louis de Bernieres. I would ask him about his research and how he manages to make his readers laugh hysterically and then sob on public transport. I can remember my emotions as I read his books. I would also ask when he will release another book.

I would also like to have dinner with Alexandre Dumas (pere) I think he would have been hilarious.

Jung Chang - because I love her writing but I also saw her speak and she would be a hoot.

Mmmicecream Wed 09-Jul-14 06:24:03

George RR Martin so I could spend the entire time making him promise to finish his books.

I would have said Louis de Bernieres but did meet and have a chat to him at a signing, and didn't warm to him which surprised me and found him a bit cold and detached. Am sure he was possibly just having a bad day and that it wasn't the best place to meet, but I haven't been as big a fan since

Doloresvivamarie Wed 09-Jul-14 14:46:56

It would have to be JK Rowling. What a life!

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