A storytelling wizard shares three favorite books.
The temptations to adapt or extend a classic work of fiction are many, but few writers have taken on that challenge with anything close to the success of novelist Gregory Maguire’s spellbinding return to the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz. In Wicked, Son of a Witch, and, most recently A Lion Among Men, Maguire has brought a counterintuitive and timely perspective to the lands through which the Yellow Brick Road winds — and generated an international literary sensation, as well as a hit Broadway musical. He shared with us three books that have enchanted him.
By Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen
“In picture book format, this treasury of original poems features William Blake as a mystic, a wizard, a saint, and a muse, and offers to readers and writers a skeletal lesson in the primary components of fantasy rising with live yeast: mystery, beauty, character and significance. “
By Peter Cameron
“A novel published on a YA list that might easily have been published for adults and deserve consideration at award time, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You chronicles the smallest possible nervous breakdown with the largest possible sympathy–to say nothing of prose so smooth you can breathe on it and see yourself.”
By Rachel Cusk
“This English comedy-of-manners isn’t so much slice-of-life as slices, crammed chapter by chapter into the same dishy dish; the writing is droll and pungent, the characters comic and small, demeaning and therefore universal; and the novelist’s quiet ambition–to take Virginia Woolf’s clarity and expand it to reflect early 21st century Britain–is ably realized, so memorable.”