Reasons to Live (1995)
By Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel is the best author I’ve ever read. Her style is true art, but also a style which cannot be replicated. Try as you might to be like Amy Hempel, that’s as close as you’ll ever get – people will read your efforts and think ‘this is like Amy Hempel, but not as good’. It’s like bands doing covers of Radiohead tracks – at best, you’re only going to remind people of how good the original was. Read Amy Hempel, learn what you can (and there is so much she can teach you), but never try to be Amy Hempel. She’s just way too good.