'What has been my prettiest contribution to the culture'? asked Kurt Vonnegut in his autobiography Palm Sunday. His answer? His master’s thesis in anthropology for the University of Chicago, 'which was rejected because it was so simple and looked like too much fun'.
Those who are opposed to color-organizing bookshelves argue that it’s impractical, claiming they couldn’t possibly find anything that isn’t categorized by title, author, or subject in their apparently vast collections. To them, the color-organized bookshelf is a self-conscious triumph of style over substance.
On the centenary of William Burroughs' birth, Will Self on why he was the perfect incarnation of late 20th‑century western angst – self-deluded, narcissistic yet perceptive about the sickness of the world
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; 1984 by George Orwell; Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand are among Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.
The evocative sculptures by Malena Valcárcel suggest that something within each book is alive. They look as if their contents are pouring out into our world, becoming part of the reader's reality. Exactly what happens when you crack open a good book.
From the beginning, a passionate love of France and French literature, specifically Flaubert, has informed his work. Reciprocally, he is one of the best-loved English writers in France, where he has won several literary prizes. He is an officer of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.