I’m a writer who hasn’t been writing much. My creative energy is only now starting to peek out from under a year of personal grief, political anxiety, and pandemic reality. That energy feels like…hope. A shy hope that gradually emerged as the darkness of grief began to recede, and perked up when the 2020 election was called, and news of upcoming COVID vaccines appeared.
My gut is pointing me toward storytelling, because I believe stories can help us heal. I don’t have much more to go on than that, so while I loosen up my rusty writing fingers, I figure the best thing I can do is to read good stories. But where to begin?
I asked my friends to tell me their favorite storytellers (from any genre) and BOY did they come through.
For now, it’s just a straight list, but as I read/listen to these folks, I’ll link up what I find. Many of these names I’ve never heard of, so I’ve got a lot of exploring and reading to do.
Who are my favorite storytellers?
- Cheryl Strayed
- Patti Smith
- Annie Dillard
- Anne Lamott
- Kelly Corrigan
- Mary Karr
- Ursula LeGuin
… to start.
Do you have a favorite storyteller? Tell me in the comments.
Neil Gaiman was the storyteller friends mentioned most often. I already have The Graveyard Book, Coraline, and Norse Mythology, which I’ve never read. I’m starting there.
Toni Morrison was the next-most mentioned storyteller. I can’t believe I’ve never read her books. I’ve always meant to, and when she died in 2019, I read the tributes to her in awe. This is the nudge I needed to start Beloved.
These storytellers were all recommended by more than one person:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Octavia E Butler
Ursula le Guin
…and here’s the rest of the list.
Orson Scott Card
Zorah Neale Hurston
Min Jin Lee
David Tennant (podcast)
Luis Alberto Urrea
Photo credit: Robyn Budlender