MY BOOKS from Rebecca to an Alice Walker short story…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more
BY Laura Wilkinson. Laura is a feminist and lover of ginger hair. A resident of an unfashionable quarter of Brighton, she likes to write stories which entertain and provide food for thought.
Find her here: http://www.laura-wilkinson.co.uk Twitter @ScorpioScribble Facebook: Laura Wilkinson Author Instagram: laura_wilkinsonwriter
Photo credit: Cain Suleyman
What’s the first book you remember reading (or being read to you)?
Enid Blyton’s The Land of Far-Beyond, a reworking of John Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. It seems incredible to me now. We were possibly the most irreligious family I knew – my sister and I were not christened. While that’s nothing nowadays, it was unusual in small Welsh town in the early 70s!
What’s the first book that a made a big impact on you?
The Secret Garden – I absolutely adored the story and the book I was given. It was my mother’s and has the most beautiful colour plates throughout. Mary Lennox is a sour, ill-tempered heroine, but I felt such empathy for her – all alone in the world and no one cared. And I longed for a walled garden – and a big house – living a boxy semi on an estate at the edge of a very ordinary town. I still long for a walled garden.
I don’t read anywhere near as much poetry as I should. I adore John Donne’s poetry.
And a short story that has lived with you ever since you first read it?
The Flowers by Alice Walker – a story about the loss of innocence in the deep south of America. Short. Perfect. Devastating.
What do you prefer: a real book with pages that move, an ebook, an audio device?
Book, book. Beautiful cover to stroke. Paper, pages to sniff (oh, the smell of ink!) and turn and flip. A book to sit on a bookshelf.
Additional question — A book outside of your usual genre?
Slaughterhouse 5 – I’m not much of a sci-fi reader but this little book (it’s barely over 100 pages) packs a punch you rarely find in 400 pages or more. A stunning exploration of the shattering effects of war – and what aliens might do with humans!