In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
Who would you invite to a favorite authors dinner party?
In 12th grade, my English teacher assigned a group project: plan a dinner party for characters from novels you’ve read over the last four years of high school. After some deliberation, we decided the party would be hosted by the ghosts of William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. As we explained it,
“Seeing how miserable most literary couples are, they decide to host a dinner party for those poor couples whose relationships either never came to fruition or have since collapsed. The characters believe that they are coming to the dinner to reunite with their lost loves, and, indeed, these people are present. However, through crafty seating arrangements and a copious amount of absinthe, Shakespeare and Wilde carefully engineer something quite different to happen.”
That “something quite different” was same-sex matchmaking. Pip from Great Expectations had a class-crossing hookup with Hamlet. Pip’s love Estella had a romantic venting session with Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights. Lady Brett Ashley from The Sun Also Rises had some drunken fun with Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. Etc., etc, through a total of ten unexpected couples. We wrote up a play-by-play of all the dinner party interactions, described the seating arrangements and decor, designed a menu and invitation, and presented it all to a bewildered class and a delighted teacher. (We got an A.)
All of which is to say: I’ve always been exactly the kind of nerd you think I am, and I would still love to see the kind of literary dinner party Shakespeare and Wilde would throw.
Edward Gorey, who was once described by a colleague as a writer who draws. Both his writing and his illustrations really resonated with my morbid proclivities as a child, so I think sitting at the table with the author of The Gashlycrumb Tinies would at least provide some very interesting dinner conversation.
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Shonda Rhimes, and Quentin Tarantino. I guess those are non-traditional authors in that they don’t write books, but they’re still authors in my mind. Also, we would have the coolest conversations about many kick ass things, mostly kick ass ladies and pop culture. And then I would suggest we invade media by creating an interwoven series of stories that play out of movies, TV shows, and comics. And we take over the world.
Then there’s dessert.
So what about you? Who would you invite to a favorite authors dinner party?