1954 – bonjour tristesse ~ francoise sagan

Yes, I’m going back to 1954 again. Blogger’s prerogative.

As you may recall from this post last year, when I sat down and looked at the ten books I’d selected to read to represent the 1950s, I was deeply ashamed to realise that they all had something in common: they were all written by men. I hadn’t included a single novel written by a woman.

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1947 – the diary of a young girl ~ anne frank

I started this blog with just one firm rule: fiction only.

But when I began to compile a list of some of the books I intended to read and review, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl somehow made its way onto my list…and stayed there.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time. But as 1947 loomed closer, I remembered why I hadn’t read The Diary of a Young Girl earlier in my life…

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1946 – zorba the greek ~ nikos kazantzakis

Reading Nikos Kazantzakis’ classic Zorba the Greek for the first time was like stumbling upon a canteen filled with fresh water after wandering, lost and thirsty in the desert for days.

My first impulse was to greedily devour the whole thing, to pour it over myself and revel in it without restraint. But, at the same, I know that once it’s gone, there won’t be any more.

It’s a special kind of painful ecstasy, reading a life-changing novel for the first time. With every page you turn, the looming terror of that final page grows stronger, more tangible.

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1943 – she came to stay ~ simone de beauvoir

Jean-Paul Sartre died in 1980. Then, in 1986, Simone de Beauvoir passed away. They’re buried in the same grave in Paris’ Montparnasse cemetery.

I was born in the year 1978. Which means that, for a very short time, I shared the world with two of the people who, much later in my life, I’d come to list amongst my personal heroes.

I consider this a great honour.

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