The book that changed my life
Jane eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I read it when I was 11 years old, and although I was a girl in Wolverhampton in 1986 in a polyester blouse from a street vendor, and she was a girl in a castle on a wasteland in a year that I assumed would be roughly “Bonnet05 AD” I could hear her talking to me. Of course every girl that has ever read Jane eyre has had that feeling. That is why it is one of the best books ever written. But because the first “serious” book I read was a girl, a “simple” girl, not beautiful, not a princess, not a temptress or a cipher or a “sassy” kung fu scientist, but a simple and Poor – speaking to anyone who picked up his book and wanted to listen, he had no idea that women were thought to be lesser writers than men, or that great literature was still thought to be a man’s game. I just figured there must be millions of books out there where girls will tell you their stories. I thought that’s what you books were. And it turned out that I spent most of the rest of my life reading only writers’ books, so I was right.
The book I wish I had written
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy is a combination of utter mechanical perfection, the way the research on candles, cooking, economics and murder functions as a series of perfectly intertwined counterweights and flyers, and the genius of the Milky Way. exist millions of the books I wish I had written, but this is the most recent. Y Three from them! WE GOT THREE! It’s like a kinder egg in literature. Chocolate, a toy Y a surprise when Cromwell actually dies. I’m silly and I’m in love enough with him to hope that, at the last minute, she would rewrite history, put him in a spaceship, and fly him away.
The book that influenced my writing
At 13, I got my adult library card and knew which sweet shelf in the adult library I was going to clean up first: HUMOR. I took out Spike Milligan, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams on that initial visit, then came back the next day and ordered their entire back catalogs. This question is basically: “Who have you ripped off the most?”, Right? I definitely ripped them off. I also obviously ripped off Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole and E Nesbit. The history of treasure hunters. Oswald Bastable is the most trustworthy storyteller in British literature. Just the title of Chapter 12 – “Oswald’s Nobility” – makes me howl. I’m really sorry I didn’t have a son and named him Oswald.
The book that I think is most underrated / overrated
Herman Melville’s Moby Dick It’s still referred to as this huge, endless, unmanageable book, and I don’t know if I’m so much brighter than everyone else, but I find it really, pleasantly chatty and “extra.” The first three chapters are basically that he has a crush on Queequeg, and then the rest, AKA Get the Whale, is an incredibly smart gay man, born in the wrong century, trying to download literally everything he can into a book. so that Some a part of him might still be alive in future centuries that might accept him. He just masturbates everything there, as if the book were Google, or a suitcase, or the last thing he would say. I I like how rammed it is.
I would also like to give a controversial salute to Lolita in which Nabokov writes one of the most impressive prose on love mankind has ever seen, but condemns it to never be read aloud at weddings, never quoted by lovers, or immortalized on keychains, making it , in a strident and emotional handbrake, the horrible thoughts of a pedophile. If Nabokov had given those words and paragraphs to any character who is not a pedophile, entire pages would have been turned into plays and songs. “It was love at first sight, at last sight, at the sight of all time.” Every writer wants people to quote them! Fainting at his words! But Nabokov does something that is ultimately still inexplicable to me: he takes all that lovely love-prose out of the poison and makes us never mention it, unless it’s in disgust and with gloves on. It’s an incredibly fascinating choice, one of the biggest “WHY ???” in the history of literature.
The book that made me change my mind
There is a little in Food in England by Dorothy Hartley, where she explains that, before World War I, all the weights of grandfather clocks hung on strings made from the tendons of bulls’ penises, which completely changed my mind about clocks and penises. . Penii.
The last book that made me cry
Almost every book makes me cry, but the last time I fell down in pain was while on vacation with novelist John Niven, and we read John Williams’ book. Stoner around the pool. John is a big crybaby, just like me, and sad and dissatisfied Stoner made us cry so much that we became quite weak and had to lie on our loungers, panting. Every now and then we would look at each other and then we would cry again with a roar of “POOR PEDRO! SO LONELY!”
The last book that made me laugh
I read Pete Paphides’ rhapsodic comment Greek broken and, like thousands of other readers and critics, he went into hysteria when I realized that, yes, he would do dedicate an entire 5,000 word chapter to a single bus trip through Birmingham; or nine full pages for an incomparably awkward childhood encounter with its heroes: the comic rock band Barron Knights. Obviously, being married to him, I’ve long been aware of how legendary his astonishingly long and whimsical anecdotes are about nowhere – party guests often come up to him and ask for some, as if he’s some kind of Ronnie Corbett Long Anecdote Jukebox – but he has managed to make them even more fun on the page. I guess because he could do them even longer.
The book that I’m most ashamed of not having read
The problem is that I am the progenitor of the Dickens Plan: I want to read his everything it works, starting with Boz sketches, in chronological order, so you can see how he’s progressing, learning, and expanding as a writer before, eventually, Going Full Dickens. How will a literary party be Y Fascinating research, it also gives me a handy Dickens BOGOF plan. But I came up with The Dickens Plan in 2011 and I haven’t started it yet, and it’s starting to look like a lot of my other big plans, like learning contemporary street dance, raising spaniels, and one day owning my own. forge.
The book I most often give as a gift
Margery Kempe’s memoirs, which were recently republished under the title How be be a medieval woman by Penguin. Kempe herself was illiterate, so she dictated her memoirs to a number of monks, all of whom seemed to hate her and kept making little comments about her that she presumably never met. It begins with Kempe describing being possessed by demons, a strong opener, and then goes on to describe her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in the company of a group of people who, again, seem to really hate her. Written sometime in the Middle Ages, and newly discovered in the 1950s, it is the first autobiography in English, and it is something so strange and brilliant: Kempe is middle-aged and clearly mentally ill, but he also travels around Europe, to often alone, and inventing the autobiography. It’s a brilliantly irascible company, and if someone doesn’t adapt this book and has Miriam Margolyes, Jennifer Saunders, Julie Walters, Kathy Burke, or Emma Thompson playing it, then it no longer makes sense that Britain exists.
The book I would most like to be remembered for
I hope to continue writing feminist memoirs every decade so that in the end, after having died as the oldest woman who ever lived, at the age of 147, How be be a woman (2011), more than a woman (2020), Keep on Womaning (2030), Woman 3: Back in the habit (2041), I still have a vag (2060) Y So tired: to be A Woman Never Ends (2074) they all appear together in a single volume, which I suppose would be called, even so far in the future, But can women be funny?
• More than a woman by Caitlin Moran is published by Ebury.
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