Toni Morrison's Jazz. Not because it is her best book, nor because it is my favorite book, but because it was the first book of hers I read and also the book I was reading when she read me. I wrote the first draft of my first novel, Moth Smoke, for a creative writing class with her in my final semester at Princeton. When she read my words aloud I understood something about writing, about the power of orality, of cadence and rhythm and the spoken word, that unlocked my own potential for finding voices and shaped everything I have written since. This book opened a door that I walked through without ever, in fourteen years, looking back.In the same interview, Hamid talked about his ten favorite books. One of his choices would certainly be on my top ten; two others quite likely would make my list as well. Read about these three books.
The Page 69 Test: Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.