All my literary boyfriends

Brad Pitt? No, thank you.  Johnny Depp?  Eh.  Josh Hartnett?  I don’t think so.  Bruce Campbell?  You’re getting closer.  You see, Bruce may be a dashing movie star but more importantly, he isn’t such a bad writer.  In fact, his memoir, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor is self-deprecating, funny, and genuine.


Do you ever develop crushes on a writer while reading his or her work?  I am definitely prone to developing romantic feelings for various writers out there, and this post is dedicated to you, all of my Literary Significant Others.


1.      Kurt Vonnegut.  Kurt and I go way back.  I remember reading Breakfast of Champions for the first time.  First he made me laugh, then he made me cry, and then he stole my heart.  RIP, my dear.

2.      Garrison Keillor. Oh, Garrison.  Listening to you narrate Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 back and forth to work for 2 weeks was one of my greatest joys.  The way you use words to paint hilarious, ridiculous pictures of small town life in rural Minnesota just stole my heart.   Don’t worry about the reviews on Amazon accusing you of being vulgar and adolescent, Garrison.  That kind of humor resonates with many of us.

3.      Al Franken. Al, you’ve got it all: brains, guts, wit, and you earn your keep by skewering all the political figures I don’t like.  Don’t worry if you don’t get elected to the U.S. Senate this year:  You’ll always be the U.S. Senator of my heart.

4.      Christopher Durang.  Who else could write a play in which all the characters dismember themselves and while their body parts are strewn about the stage, still say their wonderful, funny lines?  Absurd, satirical hilarity at it’s best. 

5.      Christopher Moore.  You charmed me with the riotously vampyrical (why isn’t that a word?) Blood Sucking Fiends: A Love Story, but you proved your greatness with The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, A Dirty Job, and of course You Suck: A Love Story.


That’s all I can think of for now, but I would also like to note a few honorable mentions: Richard Grant, David Sedaris, and girl crushes Anne Lamott, Jane Eyre (even though she’s “just” a character), and Jane Austen.


Who are your literary crushes / significant others/ stalkees?  I need some fresh blood.






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13 responses to “All my literary boyfriends

  1. Don


    Wow, the way you write about ’em, these guys are crazy not to ping back (or down … sorry, Kurt).

    Major crush … Edna O’Brien. I got to meet her once, at the Drue Heinz Lectures. Soooooooooo tongue-tied was I, swimming in the vast deepness of those blue, blue, blue blue eyes ….


  2. Willie Yeats and I have had a thing going since I was eighteen, and first met him in a high school lit class. I picked up Byron and the Eliots (both T.S. and George) in college, and never really put them down (Byron’s a jerk, though – doesn’t call…doesn’t write…). My main squeeze right now, is the extremely obscure, wildly underappreciated, Clark Ashton Smith.

    But hands off, sister – they’re mine. ;)


  3. Rebekah

    If you don’t mind sharing Kurt, I would have to acknowledge that I feel the same. Other men for me would have to include Garson Kanin (his novel, A Thousand Summers, is one of my all time favorite books) and John Irving. The ladies… Flannery O’ Connor, for her dark humor, Anne Tyler and Harper Lee.

  4. Wow, Bonnie. Your crushes make these authors vicariously appealing.

    Mine definitely include Miranda July. Anyone who can entitle a short story collection “No one belongs here more than you.” and live up to it, gets my heart. Judy Grahn is another most favorite writer–both for reinventing history and writing tough poetry.

    The rest are poets (those poets!): W.S. Merwin, Olena K. Davis, and Kenneth Patchen, to name a few.

  5. Marian

    My first and life long crush was Kurt Vonnegut. I have loved this ground-breaking novelist and essayist since I discovered Slaughterhouse-Five in high school. I have read every one of his books at least once, and several many times. He was a lovable curmudgeon during his later years.
    Next on my crush list was John Irving. My love for Irving has waned over the years. His early novels inspired me. His later novels confused me and sometimes even bored me.
    Next was the sweet, but troubled Spalding Gray. I have read and listened to his monologues over and over again. I did see him perform some of his monologues during the Three Rivers Arts Festival sometime during the 1990’s. I even enjoyed his stint as an actor on the television show “The Nanny”.
    As an avid local theatre patron, I have a few playwright crushes as well. My top two are Edward Albee and August Wilson.

  6. Edward Albee!


    Wow, great picks, Marian!


  7. I have a big crush on Thomas Hardy – all of that miserable brooding and self-righteous humanism – it’s very alluring.

    Also, John Green, the brilliant YA author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines, is my geek crush.

  8. i read “an abundance of katherines” last month, and to my amazement discovered that i still understood most of the math!

    – amy

  9. Laura


    I think I have a literary/blog crush on you! But, just to add to the fun (because, my don’t we love talking about crushes?!?), I have gi-normous crushes on Wendell Berry, Virginia Woolf and Steve Martin.


  10. Don

    Holly (& Bonnie):

    What would D. H. Lawrence say if I, too, admitted a knee-fluttering swoon for Thomas Hardy???


  11. Emily

    C.S. Lewis — with all of my heart. I truly think that if we had only met we would be together for all time. His non-fiction is life changing and utterly beautiful.

    But, Annie Dillard puts up a fierce fight for number one in my heart. She writes like an angel and brings truths that I’ve always known but never known I knew (and if you can understand that twisted logic you deserve a prize).

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