Anna in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (1878)Read about the other entries on the list.
It all goes wrong for the heroine of Leo Tolstoy’s tragic novel, when she gets ditched by her lover, ostracised by society, and prevented from seeing her son by her cuckolded husband. Distraught, Anna leaps in front of a train travelling at a rate of knots[*].
Anna Karenina also appears on Melissa Albert's recommended reading list for eight villains, Alison MacLeod's top ten list of stories about infidelity, David Denby's six favorite books list, Howard Jacobson's list of his five favorite literary heroines, 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 erotic dreams in literature, 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.
*Collins English Dictionary explains "a rate of knots" means "very fast."