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Spring is the perfect time for a picnic in the park. Like any food event, the company you keep is what makes a picnic as delightful as can be. The structure of a picnic has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it more casual and intimate than a fancy dinner party. It’s the perfect time to dive into someone’s brain and learn more about them than is probably necessary.

For these reasons, I’ve chosen six of the perfect literary characters to bring with you on a picnic. (If they were real people, of course.)

1. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling): There’s no way I would miss this opportunity. Dumbledore is smart. He has years of knowledge tucked away inside his mind (and even more memories stored elsewhere). A picnic date with Dumbledore would be like meeting with a mentor.

He’d also bring some delicious snacks from the wizarding world, ‘cause we all know Dumblore is all about his sweets.

2. Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote): Holly may be a little scattered, but a picnic date with her would certainly be entertaining. I may do nothing but sit and listen to her talk, all the while shaking my head with disbelief, but it’d be an afternoon to remember.

She walks a fine line between endearing and annoying, but at least she’d be content with a simple bagel for lunch with a side of coffee.

3. Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald): It’s a well-known fact that Jay Gatsby can throw a party, but what about a picnic? I’d leave the planning up to him. I can picture it now: a lavish picnic blanket, a catered lunch from only the finest of restaurants, and a bottle of expensive champagne.

The champagne is a vital ingredient: a constant buzz will be necessary to survive Gatsby’s therapy-like rambling about the ups and downs of life.

4. The Mad Hatter (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll): I can’t begin to imagine the nonsense that would result from having a picnic with the Mad Hatter. Tea and sandwiches cut into four small triangles are the obvious choice for food, and I assume half the conversation would actually be rhymes recited in song-song voices.

I also expect a fabulous hat.

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5. Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger): I can’t lie: I’d choose Holden as a picnic partner solely for the chance to shut him up. Am I the only person who finds Holden insufferable? I’d probably let him whine for a little while before abandoning him completely. Or pushing him into a lake.

6. Matilda Wormwood (Matilda by Roald Dahl): As a book lover myself, a picnic with Matilda would be the perfect chance to learn about every book I need to read that I have yet to find myself. That girl reads like a champion. There’d also be very little work on my part, since Matilda can set up and put away all the food and supplies with a look in her eyes.

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Maria Vicente is an associate literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She likes books, coffee, design, & magic. You can find her on Twitter (@MsMariaVicente) or her blog, ibelieveinstory.com.


Maria Vicente's picture

Maria Vicente

Maria Vicente is an Associate Agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is also the Wicked Witch of the East Coast.