Lore Segal, the author of the novels Other People’s Houses and Her First American, is a frequent New Yorker contributor. Her new book, Shakespeare’s Kitchen, is a novel in stories.
The Bible, Samuel 1 and 2. Read for the human drama. When God transfers his favor from King Saul to the future King David, Sauls daughter, Michal, falls in love with David; his son Jonathan, the heir presumptive, falls in love with David; Saul himself, even God, is in love with David. Watch Sauls lonely, terrible deterioration into murderous rage and madness.Buy The Bible at Amazon
Grimm Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm (Dover $9). The Grimms dysfunctional family is made up of Father, the wimp who is always away when Mother, the witch, abuses the Child (thats you and me, and we are sure to marry royalty and inherit half the kingdom). These stories inhabit our air. Even those who have never read them know them by heart.Buy it at Amazon
Emma by Jane Austen (Bantam, $5). Love the imperfect Emma. Fall in love with my own favorite hero, Mr. George Knightly, a sensible man who takes 20 years to understand whom hes in love with. Austenites are known to read and reread, taking a couple of months off so as to return refreshed to read again. Buy it at Amazon
Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov (Harper