On the Campaign Trail

In the NYTBR's Summer Reading supplement, some famous writers suggested a few books they thought the Presidential candidates ought to read in between all the flesh-pressing and promise-making. (When this ran, Hillary Clinton was still in the picture. Er, technically.) Anyway, Loorie Moore and Junot Diaz had some excellent ideas. Several authors believe Clinton needs to re-read Macbeth. In particular, John Irving's Lady Macbeth/Hillary comparison made my skin crawl (she's Carrie Bradshaw! no, she's a Shakespearean femme-villian!), and Francine Prose makes it all sound too much like a freshman seminar. But I particularly enjoyed Scott Turnrow's suggestion:

More seriously, I would recommend the same three books to each. The first is “Anna Karenina,” the fullest rendering I know of the complexity of human motivation and thus a precious warning against seeing the world as full of villains.

Nailing it.

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