U.S. novelist Candace Bushnell is the featured writer in this week’s By the Book column in the New York Times Book Review. She is best known for Sex and the City which was a collection of her columns from The New York Observer and was made into a popular HBO TV series in 1998-2004. The New York Times column involves a series of set questions, one of which is “If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?” This is Bushnell’s answer:
“A Handful of Dust,” by Evelyn Waugh, was a real game-changer for me. I read it for the first time when I was 12 and remember feeling like certain aspects of life suddenly clicked into place. It was my first encounter with irony, social satire and dark humor in literature, and it clarified the kind of writing I wanted to do.
Her favorite novelist is Flaubert but among the books she most rereads are P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels, among Waugh’s own favorites. Bushnell is interviewed by Rachel Cooke about her latest book in today’s Observer.