The Writer’s Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives

Harper One. Sept. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780062968500. $27.99. LIT
Inspired by the questions of why books seem so human, personal, and alive, and whether people embody the books they read, librarian critic Pearl (“Book Lust series) and writer, editor, producer, and playwright Schwager interviewed 22 American writers about what they read and how it affects their work. Interviewees reveal what they read as children, as well as the books influencing their writing today. Here, “library” refers not to a physical collections but rather the works that shaped an author’s output. Contributors include Laila Lalami, Luis Alberto Urrea, Maaza Mengista, Louisa Erdrich, and Siri Hustvedt, alongside Pulitzer Prize winners Jennifer Egan, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Richard Ford. Among the most inspirational figures: Toni Morrison, followed by James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Denis Johnson, and Lorrie Moore.
VERDICT Recommended for bibliophiles and readers curious about the works and authors behind the books they love.
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