Which group of dead authors would you choose to quarantine with, if forced (able) to choose? That is the question of the week. Each has, by design, pros and cons. Is Zora Neale Hurston worth being stuck inside with Normal Mailer? Could you stomach Ayn Rand if it got you Maya Angelou? These are the choices you must make.
Ya’ll, this is so hard! I keep going back and forth, noticing someone who I would love to have on my reality show team (Oscar Wilde! Jane Austen! Shirley Jackson! Dorothy Parker!) only to be confronted by someone I really, really do not want to be stuck with in a confined space. Boo, Ayn Rand! Hiss, Vladimir Nabokov! Get behind me, L. Ron Hubbard!
Okay, I’ve narrowed it down to #4, and that with never having read any Carson McCullers or even heard of Barbara Pym, such is the power of what would, hand’s down, be the Queerest house thanks to James Baldwin and Gertrude Stein. And then #5, because I would love to pick the brains of Audre Lorde and Emily Dickinson (although there is a very real possibility that Dickinson would just hole up in a room and we’d never get to see or speak to her at all).
I’m doing it. #4—Baldwin, Stein, Hubbard, Pym, and McCullers. I cannot pass up the entirely fictional opportunity to listen in on a conversation with Gertrude Stein and James Baldwin. We’ll put Ronny in a cupboard under the stairs and forget about him.
Now if I was making my own house, free of the horror show requirement, I would pick: Stein, Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Jane Austen, and Virginia Woolf.
What group would you pick on the list? Who would you choose if sending out invites to your own imagined house?