I am writing a set of thank you notes to the writers who have influenced me the most as part of the Thank a Writer project initiated by the author Nathan Bransford.

It was tough shortlisting five writers alone. I am tweaking the rules a little. I will only be posting the thank you notes here on my blog rather than sending them to the authors. This is for various reasons,  not the least of which being that three of the authors on my list now happen to live in the pages of their books.

My first entry is a joint note to two authors, James Hilton and Muriel Barbery.

Dear Mr. Hilton, Dear Ms. Barbery,

Ever since I first learnt to read, I have sought for answers to one of the first questions that was ever asked, the question on the meaning and the purpose of life. I have found the most thoughtful and inspiring reflections on this in your respective books.

I remember reading Lost Horizon at age 10 and being stunned into silence at the elegant prose that held in its depths the promise of answers if only I could comprehend it enough. I have read it several times since then and on each reading, have acquired a broader perspective into the things that mattered in life and how it was equally important to be able to let them go.

The Elegance of The Hedgehog which I read a year ago spoke to me from the same plane of thought, affirming that what mattered in life were the random moments of beauty that chanced upon one through art and culture and friendship. I know that it will offer me deeper insights when I read it again, which I will do, more than once.

As I continue to explore this question in my own writing, I thank you for these wonderful books that have instructed and inspired me tremendously in my quest.