‘I can say which books have had a significant impact on the way I read (I’d love for them to have an effect on what I write too, but that only seems to happen very slowly, if at all). From the early days, “Little Women” and “Alice in Wonderland.” As a teenager, Poe’s short stories; Sheridan Le Fanu’s “In a Glass Darkly” (which contains “Green Tea” and “The Familiar,” two stories full of some of the most troubling stuff concerning categories of sensory perception I’ve ever read); Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf”; Zbigniew Herbert’s droll and quietly devastating book of poems “Mr. Cogito”; and Gustav Meyrink’s “The Golem.” I was very struck — still am — by the angle “The Golem” takes on monstrosity. More recently, Dezso Kosztolanyi’s “Anna Edes”; Kelly Link’s “Stranger Things Happen”; Barbara Comyns’s “The Vet’s Daughter”; Aimee Bender’s “The Girl in the Flammable Skirt”; and Jesse Ball’s “Samedi the Deafness.”’
- Helen Oyeyemi on which novels have impacted her most as a writer.