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Tracey Thorn: ‘I managed 10% of War and Peace during lockdown’

The singer, songwriter and author on struggling with Tolstoy, learning from Billie Holiday, and the book to give fans of Joy Division

The book I am currently reading
Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels by Justin Vivian Bond. A memoir of trans/queer childhood from the cabaret performer whom I’ve been lucky enough to see on stage at Joe’s Pub in New York. I wish I could be back in that room right now, but in the meantime, this book will suffice.

The book that changed my mind
There were books I read at university that completely opened my mind. I would count among them Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics, the poetry of William Blake, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, George Eliot’s Middlemarch and the poetry of Sylvia Plath.

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