"When my writing stagnates, I do occasionally turn to fiction for motivation or inspiration: I might read a favorite passage, say, the epilogue to A. S. Byatt's Possession, or a random page of Bleak House. But I'm actually much more likely to read poetry—Yeats, Eliot, Auden, e.e. cummings, and Seamus Heaney are favorites—or listen to music to unstick myself. I love the baroque period—J. S. Bach, Telemann, Scarlatti—and folk/acoustic music from the 1960s and 1970s: Simon and Garfunkel (which won't come as a surprise to anyone who's read my novel!); Joan Baez; Peter, Paul and Mary; Bob Dylan; the Mamas and the Papas. There's a kind of nostalgia this music awakens in me, a sharp longing for a past I never even experienced, that is a crucial element of my writing 'zone.'"
—Preeta Samarasan, author of Evening Is the Whole Day (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)