It was also around that time that I found two other amazing young writers: David Foster Wallace and A.M. Homes. I can't claim to like everything these three gifted authors have ever written, partly because I haven't read all their stuff. But overwhelmingly they've proven repeatedly over the past nearly-30 years that they're the real thing, and not just a subset of the "brat pack" authors of the late 80s who dominated the press coverage at the time.
A few weeks ago I was in a local church-run thrift store looking through their books when I saw a copy of May We Be Forgiven, by A.M. Homes. Over the years I've read several of her books and stories (though I was too squeamish to tackle The End of Alice). But I picked up May We Be Forgiven and was instantly smitten. I handed over fifty cents and took it home to tear through over the next few days. It wasn't at all what I expected, but it also somehow was exactly what I expected. It was Homes at her finest, the kind of fiction that makes me want to keep writing, even if it's mostly ghostwriting blog posts for my clients.
What authors have stuck with you for decades? I only "discovered" my literary favorite Haruki Murakami around 2010, but I can say with certainty that he'll be one of those I'm most thankful for when I reach the end of my life. When you read good fiction, you furnish your mind. In my case, that "furniture" is an eclectic collection that encompasses mid-century modern, shabby chic, industrial-domestic pieces, and more. Don't deny your inner self all the good stuff that's out there. Social media will still be there when you're done. Reading a great book is more of an effort than playing Cookie Jam, but it has the power to make your life going forward a little better, a little more knowing, a little more informed. It's a good feeling.