Carol Anshaw is a Chicago- and Amsterdam-based novelist and short story writer.
Seven Moves, Aquamarine and Lucky in the Corner
Included in the 1994 ("Hammam") and 1998 ("Elvis Has Left the Building") Best American Short Stories anthologies.
Which one or two American books or plays would you yourself recommend to the foreign leaders?
Underworld by Don DeLillo
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
Who in your childhood–for example, parent or teacher—encouraged you to read books, and which one or two books do you remember most fondly?
My parents were uneducated. No teachers had time to take an interest in my reading. There were 70 students per class and the slow readers brought everything to a crawl, so in the early grades I read my books upside down to make reading interesting. My father would take me to the library every Saturday morning to bring back a stack of books and pick out a new stack. I read indiscriminately as I had no means of discrimination.
Which books by writers of the other G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom) have been most important to you as a writer?
The stories of Alice Munro have been a beacon to me as a writer. I read everything by Haruki Murakami. I am a huge fan of Rachel Cusk, a great modern novelist of manners. And of course, like all writers, I owe a huge debt to Virginia Woolf.