25 Influential Authors Meme

Professor Cero passed the meme torch for another literary meme about influential books.

The rules: List 25 authors that have influenced you over your life time. (They don’t have to be deep, they just have to have had some impact on your life.) Then tap 25 others.

Given the ongoing conflict in the feminist blogosphere that prevented most of my favorite bloggers from participating in the last meme, it doesn’t seem like making a list of 25 people to do this meme will yield much response amongst those I read, but I will try to name several people I’d like to see do it and we will see what happens.

My List (in no particular order):

  1. Marx/Rosa Luxemberg/Gramsci/Trotsky/Bourdieu/Che (just call me cheater, I’m ok with it)
  2. Spivak
  3. Dorothy Allison
  4. Cherrie Moraga
  5. James Baldwin
  6. Alison Bailey
  7. Stuart Hall
  8. Malcom X
  9. Trinh Minh Ha
  10. Joanna Kadi
  11. E.M. Forrester
  12. Paule Marshall
  13. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  14. Simone de Beauvoir (tho I have not forgive her cowardice on Algiers nor the consequences of that cowardice for black women)
  15. Chrystos/Nikki Giovanni/Sonia sanchez/Noami Shihab Nye/Anzaldua/Rigoberto Gonzalez/Suheir Hamad (they’re all poets, I’m cheating sue me)
  16. Hayden White
  17. Scott Westerfield/Madeleine L’Engle/ Carla Trujillo (young adult authors I’m counting them as one so as to cheat; besides Trujillo needs to be on this list anyway and I can’t squish her in elsewhere)
  18. Audre Lorde
  19. Ruth Behar
  20. Vandana Shiva
  21. Zitkala Sa
  22. Toni Cade Bambara
  23. Amina Mama
  24. John E. Finn
  25. Paolo Freire

One of the curses and the treasures of having the disability I have is that my memory is shoddy. I have these vague flashes of finding Aristotle’s thoughts on beauty imminently compelling, or being both enamored and repulsed by certain Frankfurt school thinkers, and I have an even fuzzier memory of T.S. Eliot impressions. And while I have a sharp disdain for Sister Carrie, I have a vague memory of “jelly role” that I swear is from the same genre of writing, but this too is probably misremembered.

I know if I was asked to write a list of books rather than authors, at least one Bronte, Wolf, Danticat, Walker, Cesaire, and others not on this list would have found their way here. There was a time when I was obsessed with Victorian Literature and there is always a time when I hate the modernists. I remember discussions of the sublime but not why. It’s odd.

I remember weeping at words penned by Allende but not where, what, or even when. And there is a gay poet from Argentina who died right before the world discovered AIDs whose life I remember but whose name and poetry are gone. There is a lesbian poet from ancient Greece I reached for and another who wrote something about leaves . . . And just writing that made me think of Sui Sin Far, who I think should be on the list but the image rapidly fades again.

So my list is probably more contemporary than others who will do this meme; tho not contemporary enough to fit in Manuel Muñoz, a real shame. And yet, these are the authors who still influence me today; many of them managing to shine through the murky muddle that is my brain.

People I tag:

  1. Kiita
  2. Barbara Jane Reyes
  3. Alexis
  4. Gay Prof
  5. Historiann
  6. Clio Bluestocking
  7. Lolita B Inniss
  8. Elle
  9. Rachel
  10. Yolanda
  11. Melissa
  12. Scott
  13. Favianna
  14. Kai
  15. What Sorts of People
  16. Pam
  17. any of the women @ Vegans of Color
  18. any of the women @ feminist philosophers

(technically that is more than 25 people since there are 10+ authors between Vegans of Color and Feminist Philosophers on top of the other 16) I also admit I chose mostly academics on this one. I’m curious what people outside of my immediate field, region, or time period read; and a few who overlap it of course. That is not too surprising is it?

9 thoughts on “25 Influential Authors Meme

  1. Baldwin keeps coming up.

    Your list is really fascinating too.

    I should have put Fanon on mine.

    You understand Spivak.

    A partly Spivakian book I am trying to figure out is Denise Ferreira da Silva, Toward a Global Theory of Race. I wish I knew someone else who had read it … have you read it?

    • Baldwin is always profound and timely, his insights stick.

      Spivak – I drink her words like fine wine. She and Trinh Minh Ha make me weep for the beauty of the word.

      Fanon and Foucault did not make my list b/c love them as I do, I have my issues with some of their concepts (like that whole interracial thing in Fanon).

      I told you I’d happily do a blog around on that book. Set in motion and I am there. 😀

    • hey there. 😀 I really love The Fire Next Time but I too read it in short spurts b/c of all the things it brings up or elucidates. What’s you fav part or thing you find most compelling?

  2. Prof., Baldwin is intensely deep, and real. I make an emotional connection with some writers, and their words. This is what has happened with The Fire Next Time. It’s the same reason why I couldn’t finish Night, by Elie Wiesel. Just couldn’t get there.

    Perhaps one day, with both of the above. 🙂

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