What Gina Ochsner is Reading

Gina Ochsner, author of The Hidden Letters of Velta B., shares her favorite books of all time.

Gina Ochsner

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Asking a writer who their favorite authors and books are is like asking a mother of many children which is her favorite child. Well, of course, they all are! But some books are closer to my heart because of where or who I was at the time I encountered them. They became seminal landmarks of change or growth or discovery for me as both reader and writer. Some books on my list are there because in a time of drought when I doubted whether or not I was really a writer, they reminded me how much I love story and how in love with words I really was. And some on my list are there because they are simply so beautiful I can’t imagine who or what I’d be as a writer and thinker without them.

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GINA OCHSNER is the author of two collections of short stories, People I Wanted to Be and The Necessary Grace to Fall, both of which won the Oregon Book Award, and a novel, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a recipient of the Flannery O’Connor Award, the William Faulkner Prize, an NEA grant, a Guggenheim, and the Raymond Carver Prize. She lives in Oregon.