Finding Hope In The Pages Of A Book

12 authors, critics, and readers discuss the books they turn to for hope, comfort, and inspiration

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Hope, 1864. Freeman Gage Delamotte. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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I talked to authors, readers, and critics about the books that gave them hope, however they interpreted the word.

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Morgan Jerkins, author of the memoir This Will Be My Undoing and the forthcoming novel Caul Baby, on Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous:

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Elena Nicolaou, culture editor at O The Oprah Magazine, on N.K. Jemisin’s three-time Hugo Award winning fantasy series The Broken Earth trilogy:

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Hannah Orenstein, author of Playing with Matches and Head Over Heels, on Molly Jong-Fast’s Normal Girl and Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Royal We:

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Runa Sandvik, security expert and reader, on the memoir Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Lisa Donovan, which she found beautifully written:

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Rachel Charlene Lewis, senior editor at Bitch magazine, on Morgan Parker’s poetry collection Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night:

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Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen, on Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s collection of short stories Friday Black, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book:

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Michael Zapata, author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau, on Eduardo Galeano’s The Memory of Fire trilogy:

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Emily Gray Tedrowe, author of The Talented Miss Farwell, on Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life:

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Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of Annie and the Wolves, on Roberto Lovato’s memoir Unforgetting, and the anonymous memoir Becoming Duchess Goldblatt:

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Micah Nemerever, author of These Violent Delights, on Cristina Peri Rossi’s poetry collection State of Exile:

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Maris Kreizman, book critic and host of the book podcast The Maris Review, on Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks:

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Alix E. Harrow, author of The Once and Future Witches, on Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Farthest Shore:

I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.

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