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 You are in: Sitemap > My Century
Writing the Century
Five authors and actors choose their book of the century and explain why they should be read.
Billie Whitelaw Acting With Beckett
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Billie Whitelaw is a British actress who worked closely with the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Beckett is most famous for his plays - particularly Waiting for Godot - which changed modern theatre when it was first staged in 1952. Billie Whitelaw was Beckett's favourite actress - he wrote many parts with her in mind - most memorably the monologue of a mouth called NOT I. Billie describes acting NOT I - which she calls the most terrifying play she has been in.
Edmund White

Why Everyone Should Read Proust
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Marcel Proust's seven volume opus - REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST - stands as the literary Everest of the twentieth century - reputed to be difficult and obscure, on a par with James Joyce's novel ULYSSES. But the American novelist and writer Edmund White says exactly the opposite - Proust is an easy read and should be read by everybody.

Annie Proulx A Novelist's Dictionary
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Annie Proulx is an American novelist best known for her prize-winning book THE SHIPPING NEWS - published in 1993. THE SHIPPING NEWS is set in Newfoundland, an island off the Canadian coast. One of Annie Proulx's inspirations for the book was 'The Dictionary of Newfoundland English' which captures the unique and vibrant dialect of that place. Annie Proulx chooses this dictionary as her book of the century, which she calls a work of literature
Yomi A Michaels Things Fall Apart
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Yomi A Michaels is a British-born Nigerian actor. Recently he went back to Nigeria to star as the lead in a stage adaptation of one of the great African novels of the century - Chinua Achebe's THINGS FALL APART. Published in 1958, Achebe's novel deals with the conflict betwen traditional African life and the arrival of British colonialism. Michaels reads an extract from the stage version, and describes what it was like to take the play to Lagos and meet the author himself.
Ahdaf Soueif Out Of Place
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Ahdaf Soueif is an Egyptian woman who writes in English. Shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize, she is a product of two cultures, a Western education in England and Cairo, and a deep-rooted love of Arabic literature and culture. She has chosen the Palestinian academic Edward Said's autobiography OUT OF PLACE as her book of the century - she says it articulates beautifully the inner conflict between the Middle East and the West which she is also trying to express.
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