Peter Cameron

The impossible task of picking three favorite books.

Peter Cameron writes novels notable for their sensitive explorations of the inner lives of seemingly ordinary people, a quality on display in his new work of fiction, Coral Glynn. When we asked him to pick three favorites, Cameron responded: “I’ve always thought of favorite as being an absolute, but I suppose it varies from case to case: one can only have one favorite child, but I think one can have many favorite books. The problem with that, of course, is picking only three. It’s impossible, so I will simply list three that come most immediately to mind, two old favorites and one new favorite, all coincidentally (or perhaps not) about marriage.”

Books by Peter Cameron

The Chateau

By William Maxwell

“I love all of William Maxwell’s novels, but I think The Chateau is my favorite child. Perhaps it affects me the most because of the risks it takes, and its willingness to be odd. It’s a book about love, marriage, travel, war, and time passing, all of these refracted through the prism of a young American couple visiting France shortly after World War II. The pleasures and strains of travel and marriage are magnified by the precarious state the country and its residents are surviving in, and The Chateau‘s lyrical depiction of the complex and fragile nature of human life is ravishing.”

Light Years

By James Salter

“This book, which chronicles the golden but slowly unraveling marriage of Nedra and Viri, two exquisite people living an exquisite life, is the most consistently beautifully written book I have ever read. Salter’s unique prose, which I think belongs in a category of brilliance and beauty all of its own, affords the reader a sensual pleasure rarely found in literature. One experiences this book as much as one reads it, and so its impact is profound and lasting. It is a book I have read and re-read and look forward to re-reading, again and again.”

I Married You for Happiness

By Lily Tuck

“I just finished reading Lily Tuck’s new novel, but devouring it would be a more apt description of how I responded to it. Tuck’s narrator folds the reader so vividly and effortlessly into the personal and intimate world of Philip and Nina’s happy marriage that the result seems rather more like an embrace than a narrative. Moments of their well-heeled and well-traveled past are depicted with clear-sighted tenderness, and the gradual accumulation of beautiful fragments from many years and places amounts to a book that is precious in the best possible sense of that word.”