Sunday, April 10, 2005


GREAT books, in the words of Michael Cunningham, remind us of “the heights we can achieve using only ink and paper.” For Ha Jin, it was V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River (1979); for Anita Diamant, it was Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1928). When John Stuart Mill suffered a bout of depression during his late-adolescence, William Wordsworth’s poetry was the cure for his state of mind. Saul Bellow set his heart on becoming a writer after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) at the age of eight. For Cynthia Ozick, it was Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868), which she read more than a thousand times.

Tell me about the one book that influenced, inspired or enriched your life. Yes, the one book that made you take a deep breath and see the world from new angles of vision, the one that made you see that life is worth embracing.


Blogger Suzan Abrams, email: said...

Hi Eric,
I think for me as a little girl it would have been Winifred Holby who wrote The Land of Green Ginger and helped me dream big dreams.
But there was never just one for me. Perhaps another very dramatic and exciting change at a time when I needed to see the rainbows, would be Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince. It made England sound doubly exciting for me.

Monday, April 11, 2005 5:00:00 AM  
Blogger Maya said...

The one book that changed me....ummmmm I must have been 16 and the book in question was Siddharta by Herman Hesse. I stopped reading mushy romances as a staple and went on to read other unread genres. It triggered something in me that by year end I had progressed to books under diverse topics ...from Sartre to Tagore to Graves to Asimov ...and my greatest love of all, Burton. And eventually Siddharta led me to my true love (don't want to go into those details coz now it's fait accompli!)

Monday, April 11, 2005 4:45:00 PM  

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