Friday, November 7, 2008

Five books: works of art in form as well as in content invited Gregory Maguire to "[r]ecommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise." He came up with:
Five Books That Remind You That Individual Books Can Be Works of Art in Form as Well as in Content
Two books on the list:
A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard and Alice and Martin Provensen (Illustrators)

Books inspired by great writers often become a mishmash, a pastiche, but this book is informed by Blake and not cowed by his phenomenal achievements. You close it and say, "Now THAT is a book!" A series of linked poems that doubles as a kind of fantasy voyage.

The Life of Emily Dickinson by Richard Sewall

Because Emily Dickinson was so private, Sewall had to find a new way to talk about her. The arrangement of his material — exploring all the people around her as a way to see toward the space she must inevitably occupy, like positing the existence of an invisible moon due to the gravitational pull it appears to be exerting — was a revelation, and helped me figure out how to organize Wicked.
Read about all five titles on Maguire's list and the interview in which the list appears.

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, and the Wicked Years series, which includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion among Men.

Wicked, now a beloved classic, is the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name.

--Marshal Zeringue