And Now, an Incomplete List of Women Writers Who Inspire Me

Click on the picture to be taken to the story on Jezebel.

“Incomplete” because I’m doing it off the top of my head. Also, in no particular order. Ready? Here we go:

Dorothy Parker
Molly Ivins
Elaine May
Madeleine L’Engle
Nora Ephron
Susan Cooper
Hannah Arendt
Ursula Le Guin
N.K. Jemisin
Beverly Cleary
Sheri Tepper
Jenny Lawson
Kelly Sue Deconnick
Emma Thompson (Yes, she’s a writer. Won an Oscar for it, too)
Caroline Thompson (no relation to above)
Amy Wallace
Melissa Matheson
Erma Bombeck
Mallory Ortberg
Pauline Kael

There are more, but as I said: Off the top of my head. And these are just the ones I find inspiring — that is, the ones whose work I looked at some point or another in my life and came out of the experience wanting to write and/or to have my own work to be better. If you were to ask for the list of women writers who I like, enjoy or admire, well. We’d be here all day. And that, again, would be for the ones I could list right off the top of my head.

Which is the point. Gay Talese couldn’t think of a single woman writer who inspires him or whose work he loves. That unfortunate man. Maybe he needs to read more widely. For a start.

Update: Mr. Talese attempts a clarification.

What I’m Doing in Los Angeles This Next Weekend

Los Angelenos! This next Saturday — that’s the ninth — I will be in your fabulous town, not just to eat all the In-N-Out animal style Double Doubles that I can shove down my gullet but also to do a few events tied into the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. What are they and when can you see them? Well, let me answer those questions right now.

11:30 AM, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, USC Campus: I and Charlie Jane Anders are in conversation. Among the things we’ll no doubt talk about are Charlie Jane’s fantastic new book All the Birds in the Sky, the new things I am working on, the state of publishing, life, the universe and everything, and of course cupcakes vs. muffins. Our conversation is ticketed, and the tickets have a $1 service charge (sorry) but otherwise it’s free. Here’s where to reserve your tickets.

Immediately after our conversation, Charlie Jane and I are signing books! And probably anything else you want signed. So bring your signables!

3 PM, Mysterious Galaxy booth: Miss the signing right after my conversation with Charlie Jane? I’ll be here to sign some more books — and as it happens Mysterious Galaxy will have lots of my books on hand to sell as well. Convenient!

7 PM, Nerdmelt Showroom, 7522 Sunset Ave, Los Angeles: I’m one of the featured performers at The Objectively Hottest Authors On Earth LIVE!, which is being presented in association with the Festival of Books. During the show, hosted by artist and comedian Sara Benincasa, I, Maris Kreizman, Cecil Castellucci and Isaac Fitzgerald will be saying and/or doing funny things, and being interviewed by Sara. It’s going to be fantastic. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, and if you want to show up, don’t wait — the room is, uh, not huge, as I understand it. I can’t say what anyone else has planned but I will be reading an recently-written funny piece that hasn’t been published anywhere yet (although I’ve read it in a couple of places and it killed), so the only place you’ll be able to enjoy it is live, and the only place I’m planning to read it live in the foreseeable future is here, at the Nerdmelt Showroom.

See you there! I apologize in advance for the Double-Double breath.