Terry Pratchetts Feet of Clay was the soundtrack to my childhood


Four literary questions with Annabelle Corton, Programme Coordinator at Emirates Literature Foundation


Anamika Chatterjee

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Published: Thu 18 Jan 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 3:42 PM

What book(s) are you reading?

Hosting Talking of Books on Dubai Eye 103.8 and working on the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature means I have multiple books on the go. I just finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I'm in the middle of the Locke and Key comics series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, and am just starting Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking. The Handmaid's Tale is waiting for me, along with The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz.

Which books have changed your life?

Life-changing books owe a lot to timing. The school library being open at lunchtime changed my life. Any book my parents read to me as a child changed my life. Access to books, in general, changed my life.

When I was about seven years old, there were Terry Pratchett audiobooks playing in our house all the time - Feet of Clay was the soundtrack to my childhood. We had an illustrated edition of The Hobbit, and I would flick through to the pictures of Smaug. I think being exposed to the possibility of other worlds that didn't look like mine, people who didn't look like me, was important. Northern Lights and Beyond the Deepwoods stand out as does Roald Dahl's Skin and Other Stories. In their own way, those books taught me that words could achieve anything - I could confront any darkness or evil, knowing that I could fight back with satire, imagination and humour.

Most memorable literary character?

Everyone goes on about Mr Darcy, but who can forget Mr Collins, and his offensive proposal to Elizabeth? Comedy gold. If it's a battle of romantic heroes, Fredrick Wentworth wins hands-down anyway with that 'half agony, half hope' letter. Outside of Jane Austen? Theo Decker from The Goldfinch.

What sort of non-fiction do you prefer?

Anything about space or the world we live in, preferably written by Bill Bryson. He is to non-fiction what David Attenborough is to nature documentaries.

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