There are some books that I need to have close to hand all the time. This list of essential reading, from Primo Levi to Judith Butler, is all in that category. Each has a very individual voice but somehow together they furnish my own imagination and help me get on with the task of writing. There is a diversity of literature here, from poets to philosophers both ancient and modern, but each of these books is like an inspiring companion. Many of them are mentioned in the diary directly but others are there as invisible encouragements between the lines.
Aeschylus. (1986) ‘The Agamemnon’, in Edith Hamilton, ed. Three Greek Plays. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company.
Amery, Jean. (1994) On Aging: Revolt and Resignation. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
Angier, Carole. (2002) The Double Bond: Primo Levi, a Life. London: Viking.
Arendt, Hannah. (2005) Essays in Understanding: 1930–1954 Formation, Exile and Totalitarianism. New York: Schocken Books.
Baldwin, James. (1953) Go Tell It On The Mountain. New York: Alfred Knopf.
Berger, John. (1991) And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. New York: Vintage International.
Berger, John. (2006) Here is Where We Meet. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Berger, John and Mohr, Jean. (2010) A Seventh Man: A Book of Images and Words about the Experience of Migrant Workers in Europe. London and New York: Verso.
Bielski, Nella. (2006) The Year is ’42. New York: Vintage Books.
Bourdieu, Pierre. (2007) Sketch for a Self-Analysis. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Butler, Judith. (2004) Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London and New York: Verso.
Calvino, Italo. (1997) Invisible Cities. London: Vintage.
Du Bois, W.E.B. (1903) The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Bantam Classic.
Gilroy, Paul. (1987) ‘There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack’: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation. London: Hutchinson.
Hazlitt, William. (1944) Selected Essays of William Hazlitt, ed. Geoffrey Keynes. London: The Nonesuch Press.
Hebdige, Dick. (1979) Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Routledge.
Hoggart, Richard. (1989) ‘Introduction’, in George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier. London: Penguin, pp. v–xii.
Hoggart, Richard. (1992) An Imagined Life: Life and Times 1959–91. London: Chatto & Windus.
hooks, bell. (2000) All About Loving: New Visions. London: The Women’s Press.
Jacobs, Jane. (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books.
Levi, Primo. (1991) Other People’s Trades. London: Abacus.
Lorde, Audre. (2007) Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press.
Lorenz, Konrad. (1977) Behind the Mirror: A Search for a Natural History of Human Knowledge. New York and London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Moore, Michael. (2004) The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Orwell, George. (1990) Nineteen Eighty-Four. Oxford: Heinemann Educational.
Perec, Georges. (1997) Species of Spaces and Other Pieces. London: Penguin Books.
Sontag, Susan. (2003) Regarding the Pain of Others. London: Penguin Books.
Sparberg Alexiou, Alice. (2006) Jane Jacobs: Urban Visionary. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Rutgers University Press.
Thomson, Ian. (2002) Primo Levi. London: Hutchinson.
Vallejo, César. (1980) César Vallejo: The Complete Posthumous Poetry. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.
Williams, William Carlos. (1984) The Doctor Stories. New York: New Direction Books.