WHAT BOOK would author Christy Lefteri take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would author Christy Lefteri take to a desert island?

  • Christy Lefteri has just finished reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  • Author would take Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf to a desert island
  • Christy first got the reading bug from The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy 

. . . are you reading now?

I have just finished reading The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. It blew me away!

Set during the Great Depression and the terrible dust bowls, it follows Elsa and her family; a wonderful story of love, courage and hope, crucially highlighting issues of migration and prejudice that are so relevant today.

I am currently reading the phenomenal books on the shortlist of the Royal Society of Science Prize 2021. My mind has been enriched by every single one.

At the same time I am reading Probably Ruby by Lisa-Bird Wilson. A beautiful novel about identity, love and belonging, telling the story of an indigenous woman given up for adoption as a baby. I am totally gripped by Ruby’s brave search for her family and her identity.

Author Christy Lefteri (pictured), would take Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf to a desert island

. . . would you take to a desert island?

This is a tough one as there’s so many books that I’d like to take. Ideally, I’d like to have a Desert Island library.

But if it has to be just one . . . Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I have a really old edition of it on my bookshelf. I always get swept up in her prose, her use of stream of consciousness, the way that Woolf takes the reader on a deep journey of the mind.

It’s so multi-layered that I don’t think I can ever get bored of it — how it deals with themes of loneliness, isolation and communication, how we see the effects of post-war Britain and the reality of oppression, colonialism and Empire through the characters’ beliefs and understanding of the world.

. . . first gave you the reading bug?

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I still get excited when I see one of her books on a bookshelf. I’m still enchanted by the lovable characters, the humour and the magic. I recently bought the collection as a gift for my boyfriend’s seven-year-old daughter.

I hope she will love the stories as much as I did. After reading The Worst Witch, I just couldn’t stop. I remember that sense of anticipation I would feel whenever I entered a bookshop or library. What would I discover next?

What world would I enter by opening the pages of a book?

. . . left you cold?

I think it will have to be Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. It’s been on my bookshelf for years. I have picked it up and started it so many times and yet I never manage to get passed the first quarter.

I’m pretty sure I’ll try again though, so if I ever end up on a Desert Island with a library I would want it on the bookshelf.

Christy Lefteri is a judge for this year’s Royal Society Science Book Prize. The winner will be announced on November 29. Her latest novel Songbirds is published by Manilla Press, £12.99.

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