Friday, May 14, 2010

Top ten books about incarceration

Lesley Glaister’s first novel, Honour Thy Father, won both a Somerset Maugham Award and a Betty Trask Award. Her other novels include Trick or Treat, Limestone and Clay, for which she was awarded the Yorkshire Post Book Award, Partial Eclipse and The Private Parts of Women, Now You See Me, As Far as You Can Go, and Nina Todd Has Gone. Her latest novel is Chosen.

For the Guardian, she named her top ten books about incarceration. One book on the list:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Like many children, I found the idea of being an orphan extremely appealing and identified to a ridiculous degree with poor orphaned Jane Eyre, who as a child is bullied by her cousin until she retaliates. Her punishment for this is to be locked into the "red-room" in which her uncle, Mr Reed, recently died. She tries to be brave, but as it gets dark thinks she sees her uncle's ghost, panics, screams and faints. (And, of course, as an adult, Jane is brought into opposition with another incarcerated female, the tragic and frightening Bertha, Rochester's first – mad – wife, secretly imprisoned in the attic.)
Read about another book on the list.

Jane Eyre also made the Guardian's top 10 lists of "outsider books" and "romantic fiction;" it appears on Jessica Duchen's top ten list of literary Gypsies, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best weddings in literature, ten of the best breakfasts in literature, and ten of the best smokes in fiction.

The Page 99 Test: Jane Eyre.

--Marshal Zeringue