Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Ten top stories about infidelity

Alison MacLeod was raised in Canada and has lived in England since 1987. She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at Chichester University and lives in Brighton. She is the author of three novels: The Changeling; The Wave Theory of Angels; and Unexploded, which is longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. MacLeod has also written a collection of stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction.

She named her top ten stories about infidelity for the Guardian. One novel on the list:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna and Vronsky. The busy train compartment. That first passing glance, as if of recognition … In 1872, Tolstoy saw the wrecked body of a woman who was abandoned by her married lover, a landowner friend of the family. The woman had thrown herself under a train. Was it a tragedy or a grim reinstatement of the natural order of marriage and family? Tolstoy initially planned to tell the story of a woman who "ruined herself" with an extramarital affair, but Anna instead emerged vivid and bright.
Read about another novel on the list.

Anna Karenina also appears on 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