Canadian author Esi Edugyan, whose novel Washington Black is shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, picks five books that have inspired her novels, and shares wisdom on what it means to read fiction today
“That’s what writing is: a struggle with oneself.” Scottish poet Robin Robertson—author of the verse novel The Long Take, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize—lists the five works that have most influenced his writing, from Ulysses to Heaney.
Daisy Johnson—short story writer, novelist, and the youngest author to be shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize—chooses the five books that most inspired her novel Everything Under and shares some of her writing rituals and philosophy.
La Bibliothèque invisible
by Stéphane Mahieu
Mirabiblia: Catalogo ragionato di libri introvabili
by Paolo Albani & Paolo della Bella
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
by Laurence Sterne
by Alberto Savinio
The Afternoon of Mr. Andesmas
by Marguerite Duras
‘I like to show some restraint when it comes to making things up…’ The Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas discusses the role of risk in writing, the ‘crisis of the novel’, and five books that have shaped his own work. (You can also read this interview in the original Spanish.)
Novelist Ian McEwan talks about five of the books that have helped shape his own, from the biography of a scientific genius to a treatise on the end of time, and discusses the importance of finding “mental freedom”
Tevye the Dairyman and Motl the Cantor’s Son
by Sholem Aleichem
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories
by Bruno Schultz and Celina Wieniewska (translator)
by James Joyce
Mario and the Magician and Other Stories
by Thomas Mann
History: A Novel
by Elsa Morante and William Weaver (translator)
Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, on the books that have taken him from childhood to adulthood, the deepening shadow of nuclear war, and why he’ll always be on his knees in front of Emily Dickinson
Paul Krugman, Nobel prize-winning economist, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and Emeritus Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton, discusses the books that most influenced his formation as a liberal economist.
With his books In Patagonia and The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) reinvented travel literature. Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, lifts the lid on a complex life and selects five books that influenced Chatwin’s work.
US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer talks about the books that have influenced his thinking and explains why reading widely, including literature, is essential for judges and lawyers.
Conventional prose fiction falls short of the mark, says English author Will Self. He tells us about his modernist novel Umbrella, what the real character of London is, and why he can’t stand the Olympics
Harvard historian Niall Ferguson tells us about the diverse influences on his work, from Keynes and Tolstoy to an Austrian satirist. He explains how he prefers a philosophy of history that emphasises the contingent and the chaotic, rather than the neatly predictable.
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter took an unusual route to becoming a performer. She tells us how she got started, how to get what you want in the music business and how an extraordinary range of influences continue to inspire her
The prominent left wing blogger tells us what books have shaped his worldview. He explains why America needs to wake up to the forces preventing change, and better understand the root causes of its political deadlock