Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Elizabeth Kostova's favorite books

Elizabeth Kostova is the author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves.

She recently told The Daily Beast about her favorite books. One novel on the list:
by George Eliot

Like Anna Karenina and The Portrait of a Lady, this book plays on the magnificent 19th-century theme of a woman trapped in unhappy marriage (a problem solved more easily by widowhood or even murder, in those days, than by divorce; see also Tess of the D’Ubervilles. Actually, this book is about money. I read it every 10 years because it is completely different each time. The heroine is so flawed and lovable and courageous that I wish she were one of my sisters.
Read about Elizabeth Kostova's other favorite books.

Middlemarch also made John Mullan's lists of ten of the best marital rows, ten of the best examples of unrequited love, ten of the best funerals in literature, and ten of the best deathbed scenes in literature, as well as Tina Brown's five best list of books on reputation. While it is one of Miss Manners' favorite novels, John Banville and Nick Hornby have not read it.

Also see: Elizabeth Kostova's top 10 books for winter nights.

--Marshal Zeringue