While we are at school we are made to study texts that we did not choose. As both student and teacher alike I have encountered novels, plays and poetry that I have despised to the point of once burying a novel in my back garden. Happily, I have more often found a gem that sits proudly in a sacred place forevermore on my shelf rather than being relegated to the compost.
In 1996 I was shackled to a desk and force-fed a tale of the distant and, to me, irrelevant 1920s. A land of flappers, prohibition and openly racist millionaires. The characters of old New York had no redeeming features to me and to be honest I did not even finish reading it. I, rather ironically, felt the novel was a car crash of storytelling and couldn’t comprehend why anyone would want to follow the exploits of someone that called everyone ‘old sport’ far too often. Continue reading