Knut Hamsun’s Pan

A throbbing world of sensation and heartbreak

The Best of Gregory Clark

The art of making memory

Henry Beston’s The Outermost House

A parallel world of unknown sensation

John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

A literary classic as thrilling as any airport paperback

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace

A huge, cinematic narrative

George Eliot’s Middlemarch

A liberal education in itself

John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

Literary elegance and a sense of place

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

A sour vision of beauty and violence

Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry

A perfect alchemy of language and experience

Richard Hugo’s 31 Letters and 13 Dreams

Missives about real places and authentic people

W. S. Merwin’s The Book of Fables

Wonder can matter more than statistics and facts

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Collected Stories

Drippingly romantic and dead on

Peter Stamm’s Seven Years

A novel of delusion, obsession, and redemption

Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls Trilogy

Utterly foreign and completely familiar

Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior

Setting your own seat at the table

Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

Intimate relationships shaped by the movement of history

Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters

A well-told story always feels true

Jonathan Franzen’s How to Be Alone

The shock of recognition

Albert Camus’ The Stranger

The mysterious nature of literary influence

Harry Crews’s A Feast of Snakes

A book of radical sadness


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