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  • Jean Rafferty

My 10 favorite literature classics

Updated: May 9, 2019

Where to begin? With all of literature's jewels heaped up in front of you, what on earth do you choose?

My favourite authors include Dickens, Rosamund Lehmann, Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Truman Capote, Emily Bronte, Edmund White, Marina Warner, Norman Mailer, Zoe Wicomb, Alice Hoffman... but it doesn't end there. The list is endless, so you can expect to be bored by my enthusiasms.

Recently I've read Rebecca West's Saga of the Century, Claire Messud's Woman Upstairs, and an account of a Kurdish woman who went to Iraqi Kurdistan to fight against ISIS.

So although there are some books I will always go back to, I don't believe in absolute top tens and will be changing this list from time to time. They are certainly not in any order. Numbers are inappropriate in valuing literature:

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights

Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

Truman Capote - In Cold Blood

Elizabeth Jane Howard - The Cazalet Chronicles

Edward St Aubyn - Never Mind - oh, and the other Patrick Melrose novels except the second one, which drives you mad.

Zoe Wicomb - David's Story

Edmund White - The Farewell Symphony

Marina Warner - Indigo

Ernest Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls

Rosamund Lehmann - The Weather in the Streets

Norman Mailer - Armies of the Night

Harper Lee - To Kill A Mockingbird

That's not ten? No, numbers have no place in literature!

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