Karine Tuil’s Favourite English Language Writers
The Age of Reinvention is the new, Gatsbian story by international bestseller Karine Tuil. Here she shares a list of her favourite books written in English.
The Sound and the Fury gave me one of my greatest literary shocks. Faulkner deconstructs the language, he plays with words and punctuation, lending musicality to his writings. This novel utterly reconfigured my literary approach.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald’s novels combine a literary language with a complex thought. I particularly like his way of observing a social environment in order to better depict it. The Crack-Up is one of the most beautiful texts I have ever read; I quote Fitzgerald in The Age of Reinvention.
In my opinion, Philip Roth is the greatest American writer, and probably the one who influenced me the most. His literary obsessions are mine too: Jewish identity, conflicts, politics, decrepitude. Roth’s novels convey images with an outstanding and breathtaking force.
In Cold Blood was also a formative text for me, especially when I wrote my novel Douce France, which takes place in a detention center for undocumented immigrants. I worked as a reporter and then had to blend fiction and reality together.
Bret Easton Ellis
Emil Cioran said that a novel must be dangerous. That is the way I see literature: reading is like entering a discomfort zone. Bret Easton Ellis’ books have this ability to stir the reader, in order to “break the frozen sea within us”, in Kafka’s words.
Franzen captures our world and our society with an acute precision. His novels reveal people’s flaws with an amazing power.
Zadie Smith is a much-admired author in France, probably because she expresses perfectly the pitfalls of identity in her very own style.
Nicole Krauss is one of the most talented writers of her generation. The themes she addresses – and particularly her meditations on memory – really interest me. I also appreciate the place she gives to literature in her works – especially the many references to authors such as Borges or Bolaño.
Politics is among the best and most original first novels I have read. Thirlwell’s work is the perfect combination of a brilliant mind with a singular style.
Tells a story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, in London, this book suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions.
With an introduction by Irvine Welsh. A cult classic, adapted into an award-winning film starring Christian Bale.
In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences - Penguin Modern Classics (Paperback)
Reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. In this title, the author's study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved.
Tells the story of a father and daughter. This title also tells the story of a menage a trois and explores crucial domestic problems of sexual etiquette.
Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives, this novel explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness.
Simon Axler is one of America's leading classical stage actors, but his talent - his magic - has deserted him. Overwhelmed, Axler's wife promptly leaves him, and Axler checks into a psychiatric hospital. It is only when he begins an affair with Pegeen - formerly a lesbian of 17 years - that Axler's regeneration can begin.
An international bestseller and finalist for the Prix Goncourt; a suspenseful tale of a tangled love triangle in the long shadow of the war on terror