It took me a long while to compile my list of “The 50 Authors who Shaped Me” – it was so difficult to choose only fifty from the thousands of authors whose work meant so much to me through my life.
When I began, I realised that many of the books that I had chosen were my favourite childhood books. Of course this makes sense, as the books we read when we are children make such a deep impression upon our psyche. However, I wanted to see how favourite books in each decade of my life worked to change and direct me.
In the end, I made strict rules. I could only choose fiction; and I had to name the ten authors in each decade of my life whose work had transformed my life in some way.
I call the novels on this list my “touchstone” books.