Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to the author of Send for Me, Lauren Fox.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Lauren Fox: My third grade teacher, Mrs. Konik, read Where the Sidewalk Ends to us, and I was mesmerized by the magic of the words, and the silliness. I still have a few of those poems memorized, and they run through my head sometimes. That book made me want to be a writer.
BM: Favorite re-read?
LF: I’m not a big rereader, but I was assigned Beloved in college, and the first time I read it, I didn’t understand or connect with it. I reread it a bit later, and everything fell into place for me, and I was (of course) stunned by its strength and beauty. It was a lesson for me in the power of rereading, that sometimes a novel requires more focus and concentration than you can give it in just one read.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
LF: I read Hamnet this summer, and I was completely bowled over by the breadth and depth of Maggie O’Farrell’s imagination and empathy. The story is about grief and parenthood, and it just shimmers.
BM: Last book you read?
LF: I just finished The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz.
BM: A book that made you cry?
LF: I cried so hard at the end of Paulette Jiles’s News of the World that I had to stop reading for a while. (I watched the movie recently, and while I really enjoyed it, they changed the ending just enough to take away the gut punch of the original ending.)
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
LF: The Cape Doctor by E J Levy—a fictional rendering of the life of James MIranda Barry, one of the first female surgeons in the early 19th century, who lived her life as a man.
BM: Favorite book to give as a gift?
LF: I lend everybody my copy of The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue, and then I have to buy a new one for myself, which I then lend to someone else. So that’s my favorite book to give as an unintentional gift.
BM: Classic book on your To Be Read pile?
LF: The Sound and the Fury. I can’t believe it’s still in my to-read pile!
BM: Favorite book no one has heard of?
LF: The Final Opus of Leon Solomon by Jerome Badanes. The narrator is a Holocaust survivor, and the book his long, angry, unhinged suicide note. This might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but it’s deeply moving—darkly funny and incisive and heartbreaking.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
LF: I’m reading Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen.
BM: Favorite children’s book?
LF: A Wrinkle in Time.
BM: Book you wish would be adapted for a film/tv show?
LF: The Stolen Child—the one I accidentally give everybody. It’s so vivid and magical, and I’d love to see it on the screen.
Lauren Fox is the author of the novels Days of Awe, Still Life with Husband, and Friends Like Us. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Parenting, and Psychology Today. She lives in Milwaukee with her family.
Lauren Fox’s Send for Me is out now from Knopf