Engrossing, illuminating and inspiring works of fact and fiction.
The Irish author of bestsellers including The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There and This Charming Man trained as a lawyer, but took up a career in fiction in 1995, when an string of unpublished short stories led to an agent’s suggestion that she try a full-length novel instead. The result was Watermelon, which garnered awards in Ireland and the U.K., and set the author down the path to become one of the most beloved and widely read chroniclers of modern life and romance. On the occasion of her new novel The Brightest Star in the Sky, we asked Marian Keyes to share with us her own favorite reading.
By Kate Atkinson
“An amazing book, which survives repeated rereading. Ruby tells the story of her life from conception and earlier, exploring complex family relationships, births, weddings, divorce, death, secrets and lies. It’s engrossing, moving, and her facility with language is a joy. Though her themes are complex, the writing is so deft and assured that she just sweeps the reader along. A great, great book and a great, great read.”
By Naomi Wolf
“Although this was first published in 1990 I didn’t read it until a couple of years ago, when I found myself reclaiming my inner feminist. The Beauty Myth acknowledges that women may have been freed from the kitchen and from the tyranny of being perfect homemakers, but were almost immediately reslaved, this time by the requirement to look young and beautiful. Wolf details, chapter by chapter, the massive rise in anorexia since the second wave of feminism drove into the sand, the billions of dollars spent annually on beauty products, the objectification of women in advertising. I cried with realisation and rage and despair.”
By Hilary Mantel
“The winner of this year’s Booker Prize — sexy, gripping, dark and oh, so good. Set in Tudor times, it tells the story of Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell. And what an incredible character Mantel has created — a ruthless, charming, clever, machinator. I believe she’s working on a sequel. I can’t wait.”