Professor’s Picks with Helen Benedict

March 31, 2009 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

49aef839198_2Helen Benedict, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, is the author of a new book: The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. She will be reading and signing books at Book Culture on Thursday, April 16 at 7 pm. (Learn more about the book and event here.) We recently asked Helen a few questions about what she has been reading:

1) What books are you currently reading?

Sowing Crisis by Rashid Khalidi, endless books about the Iraq War, and, for relief, I’m rereading Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse.

2) Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to the publication of?

The next fiction titles by Paula Sharp, Joan Silber and Mary Morris.

3) Are there standard titles or writers you like to recommend, either within or outside of your field?

Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Tolstoy and Charlotte Bronte.

4) Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?

I have three: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a work that is so human and honest it captures the struggle for freedom that not only women experience, but anyone who has been pigeonholed, oppressed, suppressed anywhere in the world. A highly underrated novel. George Eliot’s Middlemarch – as big and important as my other favorite book, Tolstoy’s War and Peace. These books have the sweep and complexity of life, contain deep wisdom, and grow and grow with each reading. They capture humanity in all its complexity much better than any psychology or nonfiction I have ever read.

5) What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

I have a new novel coming out in November that I’m just proofing now. Called THE EDGE OF EDEN, it is a tragicomic novel about an English family living in the Seychelles in 1960, a remote group of islands tucked under the equator in the Indian Ocean. The story weaves between wartime London and tropical colonial decadence in a tale of power, lust and witchcraft.

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Entry filed under: Professor's Picks.

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