Aristotle tells us that all politics starts in the family, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the infamously fraught relationship between mother and daughter. Here, the novelist, playwright and poet Deborah Levy chooses five books – or rather, four books and one film – that explore motherhood.
Wilkie Collins, the sensationalist author and inventor of the detective novel, knew precisely how to “make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em wait”. Jason Hall, Victorian literature expert and editor of a new edition of Jezebel’s Daughter, chooses the five best books from Collins’s extensive oeuvre – and considers the voracious appetites and unorthodox lifestyle of this intriguing Englishman.
Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels starring his fictional sleuth. So where to start? Michael Dirda – Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, writer and lifelong Sherlockian – gives us his personal choice of the best, and tells us more about their creator.
The distinguished Austen scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks tells us about the joy of rereading Austen and the hidden layers of complexity that emerge from the writing when one does so. She chooses the best books by or about Jane Austen.
The biographer explores the decadence of the young and rich in 1920s London, and tells us about Evelyn Waugh’s rebellious youth, bullying disposition and later breakdown – as well as just how much (and early) he drank
Modern America is a story of expanding frontiers, says the bestselling author. He tells us about five novels that shed light on the social history of his adopted homeland, from the late 19th century to the Great Depression
Family dynamics are changing dramatically in our modern, workaholic age. The novelist – and sister of Steve Jobs, separated at birth – selects five works of fiction that illustrate some truths about families in all their variety