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I felt a particular affinity with writers who brought the ‘folk’ into literature. The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men were early inspirations. Later I encountered Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God and Sam Selvon’s Lonely Londoners.
I can’t recall why I bought All Quiet on the Western Front. I imagine I thought it was going to be a more highbrow version of Edge, Steel, and Breed. There was no revenge plot, no hero quest, bulging biceps; no busty Valkyries, just mud, rations, ‘a mad anger’ against death.
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