Eve Babitz$16.95 $15.76
An influence in reverse: because I could never write about Los Angeles as well as Eve Babitz did here and elsewhere, I decided at least for this book not to write about Los Angeles, despite knowing more about that city than any other. But there are elements of Eve's persona in my character V, whether I like it or not. (I do!)
Shirley Jackson$16.00 $14.88
Could have picked any Shirley Jackson novel, but since I used a bit from this one for my epigraph, it seemed the best choice for this list. But I've stolen more from (and admire more ardently) We Have Always Lived in the Castle, tbh.
Kenneth Patchen$19.95 $18.55
A too-little-read masterpiece of fiercely pacificist, jazz-inflected prose poetry. I first read it when I was maybe twelve, and didn't understand a single line. I've returned to it over and over again through the years, and Patchen's surrealist visions and rhythms have been so thoroughly picked over by my subconscious that I can't point to a particular instance of deliberate theft, but it's there, I'm certain.
Renata Adler$14.95 $13.90
A great and funny and incredibly smart book that I have stolen from in ways both covert and overt.
Ishmael Reed$17.00 $15.81
The possibilities of parody and non-narrative fiction have rarely been better explored than in this book. Also, its use of photos and illustrations predates/prefigures W. G. Sebald's more "serious" (in scare quotes like robot claws) use in his, uh, "work." And "mine."
Shirley Hazzard$18.00 $16.74
I wish I could write as elegantly and beautifully as Ms. Hazzard in this, her finest book, one of the greatest works of art in the past fifty years. I did my best. I would kill to adapt this book for the screen. Who would I kill? You, for rolling your eyes at me.