Editor Sean Manning ha put together a fascinating compilation of essays by 30 authors in which the writers reveal their most cherished book.
Ray Bradbury writes the preface and tells the story of his cousin Neve, a creative, artistic soul who gave him his very first copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Bradbury credits this book with filling his imagination and inspired his writing career.
Bound to Last includes essays that give the reader a glimpse into the early diverse experiences of the writers and their first inspirations of the writer. Anthony Swofford, was newly deployed to Saudi Arabia when he found solace and inspiration in a copy of Camus’ The Stranger. He carried the book with him for nine months through the desert and it became “a badge of [his] awakening as a writer.”
Terence Holt reveals how The Merck Manual of Dianosis and Therapy, Eighth Edition revealed a world of “horror and reality” as Holt imagined his father experiencing all sorts of symptoms that could be associated with all sorts of frightening diseases.
Xi Xiaobin writes that growing up in 1960s China was filled with tension and strife because of political movements such as the Cultural Revolution. He yearned for a fantasy world that would give me comfort and solace. He discovered Emily Dickinson, and through her works, he learned not to fear solitude but rather to see its positive light.
After an American battleship sends a 16-inch shell through his former house in Kuwait, Rabih Alameddine leaves America and returns to see the house. There he discovers a copy of The Carpetbaggers that he had read many years earlier and, in his memory, marked his coming of age as a young man.
Bound to Last is a fascinating and heartwarming collection of essays by a diverse group of writers. Five stars.