my influences

The first authors I loved were Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse.  They both wrote a lot of books, and I read every one of them as a kid.  I hope to be as prolific as them.

In my teens, I idolized J.D. Salinger.  Salinger brings a voice to his characters that I think every teenager can relate to, and his self-deprecating humor was something that particularly spoke to me.

Another one of my early favorites was F. Scott Fitzgerald.   Throughout high school, I spent every summer reading at least one novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  It started as a test of my reading stamina, but I was drawn in by the emotionalism of Dostoyevsky’s stories, particularly the unexpected vulnerability of his male characters, even as I struggled to keep track of their names.

In college, my tastes got grittier and more modern – Bret Easton Ellis, Joan Didion, and William Burroughs.  Paul T. Rogers’ Saul’s Book is probably my favorite novel of all time.  I owe my gay political awakening to Urvashi Vaid, Michael Signorile and Eric Marcus.  I was also inspired by feminist writers like Adrienne Rich and Susan Pharr.

Some of my favorite contemporary authors are Gregory Maguire, Michael Nava, Junot Diaz, Shyam Selvadurai, and Peter Cameron.

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