I've never forgotten the shock of pleasure these five books gave me when I first came upon them. For sheer originality of language and unique vision they occupy a category of their own among fiction I've read.Read Blackwell's interview at Powells.com.
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse
Willa Cather, The Professor's House
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower
Mavis Gallant, Varieties of Exile (stories)
Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children