Top 10 books writers should read
theguardian.com – Wednesday August 10, 2016
Writing a novel from scratch, which is to say without training, was such an unexpected odyssey that I was prompted to recall the discoveries in my new book, Release the Bats – as much to remind myself where the power lay as to pass the keys on to others trying their luck. I didn’t read a lot before writing a novel, but I realise now that certain books helped set me up. Writing fiction means writing vibrant human characters, and luck is with us in terms of research, as we haven’t essentially changed since we came down from the trees. So the best grounding for a fiction writer must be one that explores human nature with gloves off. There’s nothing like literature from ancient Rome bemoaning consumer culture to show that nothing is new, or literature from Habsburg Italy telling how to hire nuns for sex from the mothers superior of convents to put Fifty Shades in perspective. Which is to say that if we haven’t figured ourselves out by now, there’s still time: we’re not going anywhere.
To read the full article on theguardian.com, click here