I return to these three books fairly regularly. It pains me to know these giants of writing are no longer around and we won’t get any more material from them. When I think of the kind of writer I want to be, the stripped down style, the grittiness of the characters, the tackling of hard hitting subjects in such a raw manner, these are the names I mutter. But similar to Barry Hannah’s response when asked if he writes under the ghost of Faulkner, I don’t want to emulate their styles. I am inspired by them, but I have my own voice, my own stories.