One of his five favorite literary heroines, as told to The Week magazine:
Anna Karenina by Leo TolstoyRead about the other entries on the list.
The great novel of the senses and the heart that no other 19th-century novelist quite managed to write. That Tolstoy himself set out to write a moral tract warning against adultery only goes to prove D.H. Lawrence's dictum: Never trust the teller, trust the tale. Or, to put it another way, if it's truth you want, then go to art, not religion or ideology.
Anna Karenina also appears on Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, Chika Unigwe's six favorite books list, Elizabeth Kostova's list of favorite books, James Gray's list of best books, Marie Arana's list of the best books about love, Ha Jin's most important books list, Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books list, Claire Messud's list of her five most important books, Alexander McCall Smith's list of his five most important books, Mohsin Hamid's list of his ten favorite books, Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers, and among the top ten works of literature according to Peter Carey and Norman Mailer. John Mullan put it on his lists of ten of the best coups de foudre in literature, ten of the best births in literature, ten of the best ice-skating episodes in literature, and ten of the best balls in literature.
Also see Howard Jacobson's lists of the five best novels on failure and the top ten novels of sexual jealousy.