That's quite an outrageous assertion. So outrageous that it has no basis in fact. As with 'this is the most wonderful piece of music in the history of humankind' and 'that has got to be the best film I ever saw, EVER,' statements, I'm a fickle beast. My opinions change with the direction of the wind.
Please note, I do not count myself as a remarkable writer. I do not appear in this anthology
No book has, in fact, changed my life. Some books have left their imprint on my psyche, so years later I'm still thinking about them while others disappear into the recesses of the never-never.
One book that has remained with me is The Bone People by Keri Hulme. Magical. I must re-read it (for about the 37th time)
How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff, which gave me such HOPE that I could write outside
accepted norms and not be regarded as a crazy airhead. (Which I am and
who cares? But I was thinking that publishers go for safety and
Criminy, this is proving to be a long post. The book I was ACTUALLY thinking of before I thought of the others (quod erat demonstrandum re fickle nature) is this:
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.
Love, love, LOVE this book. It is "a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable" which means that as the story develops, more and more letters of the alphabet aren't used and we end up with only LMNO and P (see the title!)
SO clever - and all this genius is wrapped up in the story, which is about an island where use of letters of the alphabet are progressiveley banned.
Do you know, I haven't even got a copy of this book. I borrowed it from the library. CRIMINAL OFFENCE. (borrowing books from the library isn't criminal, but failing to buy them later when they've has such a profound effect, IS)
I, for one, and going to remedy that transgression NOW.
I would like to point out that I'm not in the pay of either Keri Hulm, Meg Rosoff or Mark Dunn, but they are welcome to offer me a percentage of their vast royalties after this unsolicited hero worship.
Yours sincerely, Crlncxn
(You see, Ella Minnow Pea DID change my life because my user name is a lipogram with the vowels removed.)