Anna North: Books that influenced America Pacifica

Recently Anna North read at an event for Girls Write Now where she was introduced by Maud Newton—you can watch a video of the event here.  My favorite part of Maud’s introduction was when she said she wanted teenage girls to see and hear from Anna because she wanted them to know that a girl could write about “any kind of world she could imagine.”  I asked Anna to provide a list of the books that inspired her, and each one seems testament to that idea.

It would be hard to overstate the importance of Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age on my work and life. I read this book when I was sixteen and its story of a young heroine swashbuckling through a bizarre futurescape has stuck with me ever since. America Pacifica owes Stephenson a great debt.

Ditto David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, whose future world influenced me in a more oblique but no less deep way.

Ditto The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

I read a lot of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and other noir writers in this book’s early stages (at the behest of Jonathan Ames), and they were a major influence on its plot.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, especially “A Scandal in Bohemia.”

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

The Odyssey.

The Waste Land.

The Tempest.

Anne Carson’s The Autobiography of Red and The Glass Essay, especially influential for their descriptions of loss.

Orson Scott Card’s Ender books, for their young heroes.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics.

The X-Men comics, especially From the Ashes (the Dark Phoenix story).

Watchmen.

Housekeeping.

Frankenstein.

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