Lindsay Lewis

English/ ESL consultant: Word worker, writer, teacher, mentor and poet. Author of This Won’t Hurt a Bit! on writing clear content.

Recommended Reading

Parents often ask me for a reading list.  There are far too many wonderful writers to list, but in addition to the classics, these are a few of my favorites.

  • Stephen Dunn Pulitzer Prize Winning poet.  I adore his work, particularly “Different Hours.”  His writing has a kind of still-life quality while exploring themes of relationships and mortality.
  • Jumpha Lahiri “Interpreter of Maladies.”  This collection of short stories reverses the usual ethno-centric lens of life.  Her stories are flavoured by her East Indian cultural background, which creates a dynamic tension and humour.
  • Rohinton Mistry “A Fine Balance.”  A tragic and poignant novel about India, and how losing a sewing machine changed a woman’s fate.  I cried copiously and would rate it a five kleenex read.
  • Raymond Carver.  Carver was a brilliant author who made the mundane events of life transcendent.  He sadly died at age fifty of alcoholism. All of his stories and essays are wonderful.
  • David Sedaris “Naked”.  A Scathing and ruthlessly funny collection of stories.
  • Margaret Atwood “A Handmaid’s Tale.”  For a work written in the eighties, it is creepily prophetic.  Her poetic sensibility, allusions and cultural references are amazing.
  • Alice Munro.   I ‘m not sure if it was a blessing or a curse having her as my teacher at Banff.  I have always compared my writing to hers and been sadly disappointed.  Read everything- she’s a genius of subtlety and craft.
  • Khaled Hosseini I am officially in love with this man. A Thousand Splendid Suns eclipses his last novel. His poetic and poignant understanding of women, politics, and culture is more elegantly written than a cat on a tight rope. This man is a genius and a compassionate soul! I am doling out the book like a last meal, savouring each bite…
  • Tim O ‘ Brian “The Things They Carried”  explores the surrealism of the Vietnam War with stunning lucidity.
  • Camus “L’etranger. This existential work is better in French, but at least read it in English.

I am teaching William Morris’ “So long, see you tomorrow.” I highly recommend his amazingly poignant work. He is a master of simplicity, imagery and atmosphere.