The only criteria I have is instinctive, or so immediate as to be little better than instinct: these are authors who let words fly free–but with purpose and direction. How? Why? For their readers, for a brief time, their words set us free, too. How? Why?
And lately I would say that, whether I knew it at the time I wrote or made it a point of writing, they all help to understand what history is and means, what living in it means…they being among the fortunate ones who have found history and the world have given them enough to overcome, in imagining what could be, some of the limits that history and the world set.