RUTH FIGGEST Ruth Figgest is a novelist and short story writer based in Eastbourne. She has had several short stories shortlisted for literary awards; another, The Coffin Gate, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her debut novel, Magnetism, about a complex moth
My Life in Books
The book I loved as a child
My copy of Ant and Bee and the Rainbow by Angela Banner has my name written inside the cover in childish handwriting. It’s a very happy early-reading story about friendship and adventure that teaches children about colours and life. Isn’t violet a wonderful word?
The book that inspired me as a teenager
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first of what became a sevenvolume autobiographical work by Maya Angelou. The accurate detail in the imagery evokes place perfectly. Her authentic voice and use of language expertly illicit emotion in an understated fashion.
The book I’ve never finished
Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend. I very much enjoyed her two other novels though, The Secret History and The Goldfinch.
The book that moved me most
Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt. It encouraged me to love books and taught me that life might be OK. I think I read it when I was about 12. It explores loss, mental health problems and alcoholism. I remember one section in which the complex emotions attached to children being cruel to each other felt particularly authentic. It made me feel less alone.
The book I’m reading now
The Namesake by Jhumpha Lahiri is amazing. The writing is flawless and the story engaging and moving. It was recommended to me via Twitter by someone who enjoyed my writing, and I’m very grateful to have had the recommendation.