Synopses & Reviews
As words and stories are increasingly disseminated through digital means, the significance of the book as object whether pristine collectible or battered relic is growing as well. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books
spotlights the personal libraries of 13 favorite novelists who share their collections with readers. Stunning photographs provide full views of the libraries and close-ups of individual volumes: first editions, worn textbooks, pristine hardcovers, and childhood companions.
In her introduction, Leah Price muses on the history and future of the bookshelf, asking what books can tell us about their owners and what readers can tell us about their collections. Supplementing the photographs are Price's interviews with each author, which probe the relation of writing to reading, collecting, and arranging books. Each writer provides a list of top 10 favorite titles, offering unique personal histories along with suggestions for every bibliophile.
Unpacking My Library features the personal libraries of:
Rebecca Goldstein and Stephen Pinker
Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee
Claire Messud and James Wood
"'You are...what you read.' This book takes 13 authors from across genres and strips them, exposing their essence through a close look at their most private possessions their books. A list of 10 favorite reads and a short interview accompany beautifully composed photographs of each private collection. Among the modern literary notables profiled are Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass), Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), all of whom impart intimate details or lack thereof of the relationship they share with their personal libraries, relating everything from the first book they ever purchased to how they feel about what will happen to their amassed wealth of literature after they're gone. Though Price aims to explore the nature of a bookshelf to reveal truths about its owner, perhaps more fascinating is how, while immersed in wonder about how these books may have shaped each author's work, readers are given the chance to compare their own reading lists with those of their favorites. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This gorgeous second volume in the popular Unpacking My Library series explores the bookshelves of favorite novelists.
About the Author
Leah Price is professor of English at Harvard University. She is the author of The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel, Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture, and How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. She writes on old and new media for the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, and the Boston Globe.