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Book That Changed My life

How ‘The Art Of War’ Taught Me Leadership Skills – Ini Onuk

How ‘The Art Of War’ Taught Me Leadership Skills – Ini Onuk
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The Interview Magazine

388

Annette Gordon-Reed And Peter S Onuf, Most Blessed Of The Patriarchs

Annette Gordon-Reed And Peter S Onuf, Most Blessed Of The Patriarchs
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The Interview Magazine

104

Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Awards for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008). Onuf is a leading Thomas Jefferson scholar. Their ground-breaking reinterpretation of the life and philosophy of Jefferson – the third US president – “explores the roles he played” and the self he fashioned.

Dana Spiotta, Innocents And Others

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The Interview Magazine

78

As a teenager, Meadow claims to have had a months-long tryst with Orson Welles. Determined to become a film-maker, she leaves Los Angeles and sets up a makeshift studio in upstate New York. Her first film, an eight-hour Betacam video of her boyfriend, wins a jury prize. She draws acclaim for a 1992 documentary called Kent State: Recovered.

Adam Hochschild, Spain In Our Hearts

Adam Hochschild, Spain In Our Hearts
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The Interview Magazine

84

Hochschild, author of the searing King Leopold’s Ghost, examines the complex political and social aspects of the Spanish Civil War, which began when Francisco Franco led a military uprising against the democratically elected Spanish Republic. He was backed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

Marie Ndiaye, Ladivine

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The Interview Magazine

208

French-born NDiaye has won the Prix Femina, the Prix Goncourt, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International prize. The consequences of racial passing are at the core of her moving, ultimately radiant new novel (translated from the French by Jordan Stump).

Paul Goldberg, The Yid

Paul Goldberg, The Yid
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The Interview Magazine

74

Goldberg’s debut novel opens with a “knock-and-pick” scene set in February 1953 Moscow. Three men in a Black Maria leave the “castle-like gates” of Lubyanka to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, a Red Army veteran and actor for the defunct State Jewish Theatre.

Alexander Chee, The Queen Of The Night

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The Interview Magazine

72

Chee’s enchanting The Queen of the Night is about a legendary 19th Century Paris soprano, inspired by Jenny Lind. Lilliet Berne’s voice was said to “turn arias into spells, hymns into love songs,” writes Chee. She was the gifted daughter of Minnesota settlers who considered her voice a curse.

Sarah Bakewell, At The Existentialist Café

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The Interview Magazine

130

Bakewell won a National Book Critics Circle award for her innovative 2010 biography How to Live: A Life of Montaigne. Her equally idiosyncratic new At the Existentialist Café takes on the intellectual movements of the 20th Century and the philosophers who shaped them.

Ethan Canin, A Doubter’s Almanac

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The Interview Magazine

83

Milo Andret is a mathematical genius who grows up in Michigan in the 1950s. In graduate school at Berkeley he works under Hans Borland, then the most famous mathematician in the US. With isolation and effort, he discovers how to harness his remarkable mind.

Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton

Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton
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The Interview Magazine

110

In her fifth novel, Strout, whose Olive Kitteridge won a Pulitzer Prize, brings us young Lucy Barton lying in a hospital bed in view of the Chrysler Building for nearly nine weeks in the 1980s. She is in a “very strange state – a literally feverish waiting” as she heals from an infection after an appendectomy. She misses her husband and two young daughters.

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