This week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday at the Broke and the Bookish.
1. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
After reading his new biography (review soon!), it might make more sense if I didn't want Vonnegut at my table. He comes off as bitter, attention-seeking, and womanizing. Yet he still seems like a charming and entertaining dinner guest when he wanted to be, so I'd be interested in conversing with him on a good day. Also, I feel like we might bond over similar pessimistic yet secretly optimistic worldviews.
2. Madeleine L'Engle
It was my dream to meet Madeleine L'Engle, especially because for a long time, she and Vonnegut were the only two authors I liked that were still alive. Both from her books and a taped interview that I have of her, she seems like the sweetest lady, besides being vastly knowledgeable and interesting. I think we would have a lot in common.
3. L.M. Montgomery
I love all of her books so much, and I'd like to think we are maybe similar people. I'd like to talk craft with her, but I'd also just like to listen to her talk about all her visions and intense feelings that beauty inspires in her.
4. Mark Twain
Another man who I'd like to catch in a charming, entertaining mood. Vonnegut's adoption of the Twain "brand" is something that Shields discussed a bit in the Vonnegut biography. But, I would love to meet the author of Huck Finn and talk about his motivations and listen to his amusing observations on any given topic.
5. Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I was deciding between Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but I think Dostoyevsky seems like a nicer person and we'd still get to discuss philosophy and nineteenth century Russia. I suppose I'm also assuming that we would somehow be able to communicate, as I don't speak Russian and I'm not sure if he spoke English.
6. Jane Austen
Austen might be a little wallflowerish in social situations, but hopefully I'd be able to draw her out. I'm sure her opinion of the other dinner guests would be exceedingly droll. I also have a feeling she'd love to meet Shakespeare.
7. William Shakespeare
It's kind of hard not to include the Bard on the list. Hopefully, this would put to rest all speculation as to whether he wrote his plays or not. I think he would be equal to the other guests and that of course they would all want to meet him (with the exceptions of Lanyer, who might have known him in life, and Cervantes, who may not have known of him at all).
8. Aemilia Lanyer
Lanyer would be a fascinating dinner companion, I'd want to hear all about her relationship with Lord Hunsdon and meeting Elizabeth I, and especially her views on women's role in society. Plus, we could finally settle whether or not she was Shakespeare's Dark Lady.
9. Gregory Maguire
Maguire is the only live author on my list. I heard him speak at the National Book Festival and was utterly charmed. I think everyone would find him entertaining and I know he's a fan of nineteenth century novelists, so he would at least enjoy meeting Twain, Austen, and Dostoyevsky.
10. Miguel Cervantes
The author of Don Quixote has got to be a riot. Even if he doesn't speak English, we might still be able to communicate a bit. I'd love to see him interact with Shakespeare, who I know was a fan, as well as Twain and Dostoyevsky who both expressed admiration and homage.