Rick Moody is a New York-based novelist, short story writer, essayist and composer.
Garden State, The Ice Storm, The Four Fingers of Death, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven
1991 Editor’s Choice Award from the Pushcart Press (Garden State), 1994 Aga Khan Award from The Paris Review (The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven), The NAMI/Ken Book Award and the PEN Martha Albrand Prize for Excellence in the Memoir (The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions)
Which one or two American books or plays would you yourself recommend to the foreign leaders?
Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Walden by Henry David Thoreau
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 very enthusiastic readers. Among the very worthy suggestions of my parents were: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Moby Dick by Herman Melville and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. These all turned out to be incredibly useful books for me. I can also attest to the importance, in childhood, of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
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?
So many that it's almost impossible to catalogue them. I have already
mentioned Lewis Carroll. From the U.K., there is also Sterne, Swift, Hogg, Peacock, Hardy, Woolf and many others. From France, André Breton's Nadje, Artaud's The Theater and Its Double and Roland Barthes's A Lover’s Discourse. In order not to go on too long, I will also mention The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, The Divine Comedy, The Decameron, etc. Maybe that's enough!