Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top ten first person narratives

Kathryn Erskine was a lawyer for fifteen years before turning to her first love: writing.

Her debut novel, Quaking, was one of YALSA’s Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. She is the author of Mockingbird, winner of the 2010 American National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

One of Erskine's top ten first person narratives, as told to the Guardian:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

While it's the classic American novel, it's also a universal story of tolerance. Atticus Finch may be fighting a losing battle in the courtroom and the community but he knows his action will have an impact in the overall war, maybe not today, maybe not in his lifetime, but he gives us hope to keep striving for that goal of human decency. The voice of the young narrator must have haunted me all my life because she unwittingly crops up in my character in Mockingbird, a fresh voice who sees the world with no filters and calls injustice what it really is - something that demeans all of us.
Read about the other entries on Erskine's list.

To Kill a Mockingbird also made Julia Donaldson's six best books list, TIME magazine's top 10 list of books you were forced to read in school, John Mullan's list of ten of the best lawyers in literature, John Cusack's list of books that made a difference to him, Lisa Scottoline's top ten list of books about justice, and Luke Leitch's list of ten literary one-hit wonders. It is one of Sanjeev Bhaskar's six best books and one of Alexandra Styron's five best stories of fathers and daughters.

--Marshal Zeringue