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 thirteen favorite novelists who share their collections with readers.Read more...
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 thirteen 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 ten favorite titles, offering unique personal histories along with suggestions for every bibliophile.
Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books features the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Diaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White.
- ISBN-13: 9780300170924
- ISBN-10: 0300170920
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publish Date: November 2011
- Page Count: 208
- Dimensions: 5.77 x 8.29 x 0.74 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.09 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
"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 Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and Allison 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.)