Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to Ponti author Sharlene Teo.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Sharlene Teo: The Hundredth Dove and Other Tales by Jane Yolen—it had these beautiful charcoal drawings and the stories within were haunting and melancholic in a way I’d never encountered before. That’s the wonderful thing about a childhood book- I remember studying the illustrations for hours, fully absorbed in the emotional realities within its pages.
BM: Favorite re-read?
ST: Love in the Time of Cholera, Light Years, Lolita, Madame Bovary.
BM: What book do you think your book is most in conversation with?
ST: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jacksongets mentioned in Ponti—because Shirley Jackson is such an influence and inspiration to me and both books centre female teenage misanthropy.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
ST: Beloved by Toni Morrison—before I read it, I didn’t know a novel could be so horrific and humane, fantastical yet grounded in deep and present pain.
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