Courttia Newland: ‘My earliest reading memory is of Jaws’

The author on a Roy Jacobsen masterpiece that made him cry, and the pitch-perfect novel by Sarah Hall that deserves greater recognition

The book I am currently reading
I’m in between books, having reread James Baldwin’s Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone, and in my opinion the man is a visionary. He is lauded for his fierce activism, but not enough is said about his fiction, which lifts the spirits and burns with honesty in equal measure.

The book that changed my life
I was introduced to The Insult by novelist and screenwriter Stephen Thompson, no relation to Rupert Thomson, its author. This novel made me want to combine realism with the surreal, which Thomson excels at.

The book I wish I’d written
So many! I don’t exactly wish I’d written it but line for line The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr gave me the feeling that I need to up my game.

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