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  • Tuesday Top Ten -- Sue Eckstein

    Tue, 04 Aug 2009 00:01

    Sue Eckstein was born in Turkey in 1959. She studied English Literature at Durham University and then went on to work in overseas development for many years, firstly as a teacher in Sri Lanka and then as VSO programme manager in the UK and The Gambia. She is now a lecturer in Clinical and Biomedical Ethics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She is the author of The Cloths of Heaven, of the play The Tuesday Group, and three radio plays for BBC Radio 4.

    Here is Sue's Tuesday Top Ten:

    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    My very favourite book as a child -- I had an edition with beautiful Arthur Rackham illustrations. A wonderful story of redemption, with a feisty and not always likeable heroine whom I greatly admired.

    Middlemarch by George Eliot

    I love the complexity and the density of this book and the wonderful characterisation. And I love the big historical and sociological themes that Eliot tackles.

    Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

    I re-read all the novels in this series every few years when I need cheering up. I think the tone and structure of my own novel was very much influenced by them. I love the books' humour and pathos and the way the characters come in and out of the novels.

    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

    A deeply sad, but perfectly crafted, novel where you care so much for some of the characters that the ending is almost unbearable. It is also hugely informative about a particular period in Indian history.

    The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham

    A funny, moving, upbeat novel about friendship between a group of US Air force wives and a Norfolk villager they encounter on their first posting. Another book I re-read when times get tough.

    Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

    A magical book which I loved as a child and which first made me realise that old people were once young and could quite possibly have lead interesting lives.

    My Traitor's Heart by Rian Malan

    Written by an Afrikaaner journalist it is about much more than apartheid -- it's about brutality and madness and race and reportage.

    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

    An epic novel set in the Congo. An extraordinary evocation of place -- even more extraordinary given that Barbara Kingsolver wrote it from memory and research.

    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

    The story of the mad woman in the attic from Jane Eyre. You can never think of Mr Rochester in the same way once you've read this book.

    A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving

    I love this book so much that I had to leave a reading group after a couple of people said they didn't really like it. John Irving at his very best.

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