Eighteen Memories

Megan Kurashige does her Clarion class a great service by posting a list of our favourite novels. In Week Three of Clarion we were asked by tutor Mary Anne Mohanraj to each contribute one favourite title to the list and this is what we collectively arrived at:

1. Towing Jehovah by James Morrow
2. “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke
3.”The Author of the Acacia Seeds” by Ursula K. Le Guin
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
5. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
7. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
8. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
9. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
10. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
11. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
12. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
13. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
14. Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
15. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
16. Alanna by Tamora Pierce
17. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
18. “The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges

I think the list is fascinating. Mary Anne used it to make the point that great stories, ones that we remember and treasure, have something more than good writing or an exciting plot. She defined that something more as ‘theme and character’. Its one of the great lesson I took away from Clarion, so thank you Mary Anne!

its a list that also brings back memories, as each title reminds me of the person who nominated it. Reading through it I’m right back in that classroom again. More than sic months on I still miss Clarion very much. I hope I always will, at least a little.

A special prize to anyone (who was not in the room!) who can guess which title I nominated?


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Eighteen Memories

  1. “…prize…”


    “…who was not in the room…”


    Actually, I don’t offhand remember which was yours, but I remember enough of them that I could probably get it by elimination.


  2. I don’t think I was even there for that whole thing (though I think “Winter’s Tale” might have been mine. But my guess is one of the first two…I think it might actually be the Clarke, but for whatever reason I’m going to guess that yours was “Towing Jehovah.”



  3. It could have been “Do Androids Dream…” too. But I’m going to stand by my guess of “Towing Jehovah.” And I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t in the room, so if I’m right I expect a prize (just buy me a beer the next time I see you, that will be fine). It’s funny…there are parts of Clarion that I remember with crystal clarity, but there’s also a lot of it that has sort of settled into a white noise in my recollection. I’ve never had a six weeks that were so intense, and I expect that I probably won’t again. It’s something to aspire to, though, because those weeks were pretty fucking awesome. So. I’m just sayin’.


  4. Drumroll please……………!

    And the winner is…EJ. And Dan. Yes, it was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

    I will consider the options and despatch a suitable prize to both of you.



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