Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jung Chang's six favorite books

Jung Chang is the best-selling author of Mao: The Unknown Story and the memoir Wild Swans. Her latest book is Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China.

One of Chang's six favorite books, as told to The Week magazine:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

People have given different interpretations as to what this timeless classic is about. To me it is not about love thwarted by social conventions, as some seem to think; it's about all feverish and unreserved loves, which come with a destructive and futile seed buried in them. We all lose our head once, but Anna lost hers completely.
Read about the other books on the list. 

Anna Karenina also appears on Rachel Thompson's top ten list of the greatest deaths in fiction, 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.

--Marshal Zeringue