Saturday, April 09, 2016

Four books that changed Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick's latest book is The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir. One of four books that changed the author, as shared at the Sydney Morning Herald:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read this book first as a teenage girl, next as a college sophomore, and then as a graduate student. First, I saw Jane as Cinderella; then I saw the heaven-and-hell nature of the fairy tale; then I saw the second-class position of women, as Jane prevails as an equal only when Rochester is blind – and has therefore been cut down to size. Again, the thrill of rereading: taking in what you need to see when you need to see it.
Read about another book on the list.

Jane Eyre also made Meredith Borders's list of ten of the scariest gothic romances, Esther Inglis-Arkell's top ten list of the most horribly mistreated first wives in Gothic fiction, Martine Bailey’s top six list of the best marriage plots in novels, Radhika Sanghani's top ten list of books to make sure you've read before graduating college, Lauren Passell's top five list of Gothic novels, Molly Schoemann-McCann's lists of ten fictional men who have ruined real live romance and five of the best--and more familiar--tropes in fiction, Becky Ferreira's lists of seven of the best fictional depictions of female friendship and the top six most momentous weddings in fiction, Julia Sawalha's six best books list, Honeysuckle Weeks's six best books list, Kathryn Harrison's list of six favorite books with parentless protagonists, Megan Abbott's top ten list of novels of teenage friendship, a list of Bettany Hughes's six best books, the Guardian's top 10 lists of "outsider books" and "romantic fiction;" it appears on Lorraine Kelly's six best books list, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, and Jessica Duchen's top ten list of literary Gypsies, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best governesses in literature, ten of the best men dressed as women, ten of the best weddings in literature, ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best pianos in literature, ten of the best breakfasts in literature, ten of the best smokes in fiction, and ten of the best cases of blindness in literature. It is one of Kate Kellaway's ten best love stories in fiction.

The Page 99 Test: Jane Eyre.

--Marshal Zeringue