Anna Quindlen

I enjoyed reading Anna Quindlen’s column “By the Book” online in this week’s NYT Book Review and was interested to hear about her likes & dislikes. She is one of my favorite writers, and last year she wrote her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Her top favorite books of all time are Middlemarch, Bleak House and Pride and Prejudice. Anna must enjoy crime fiction, since her favorite women writers are Denise Mina, Tana French and Kate Atkinson, but she also likes Hilary Mantel. However, one of her dislikes is experimental fiction, where the writer seeks to break convention and experiment with innovation, especially in the technique. I had to look this up, since I hadn’t heard of it before. Some examples of writers in this category are James Joyce(Ulysses), Thomas Pynchon (Gravity’s Rainbow) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude).  I particularly liked her answer regarding what self-help books she reads: Anna has various poetry collections by Yeats, Robert Lowell, W. S. Merwin that she uses in this category. And finally, who is her favorite childhood literary character hero? Jo March, of Little Women. Anna admired her for following her dream and becoming a writer.

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