I noticed over at Time’s Flow Stemmed this morning that there is a website where you can plug in an author’s name and it will map out other authors who are similar. The closer together two authors are, the more similar they are–supposedly. I first put in Margaret Atwood, it had pretty much every big Canadian author you can think of (Laurence, Davies, Findley, Shields, Hoffman, etc.) which I found kind of dubious. But then I noticed Margaret Drabble (an author I quite like) and clicked on her which took me to a map centered around Drabble. From there I clicked on Anita Brookner. While I like many of the authors who showed up closest to Brookner I couldn’t particularly figure out what their similarities might be. But that may be my fault, after all if a bunch of my favorite authors show up in a clump they must have something in common. Although I kind of fear that ‘English lady’ might be the common denominator.
One of the closest names to Brookner was Mary Wesley–a novelist I have never heard of. So I go look up Mary Wesley and her work sounds pretty interesting. I noted that one of her hits is The Camomile Lawn–which, oddly enough I just noticed the other day on Netflix as a film adaptation Felicity Kendall. How cool is that.
But the real question is, given what you know about my reading tastes, will I like Mary Wesley? And as for that matter, Anthony Powell was real close to Brookner as well. What would I think of him?