A year ago, when I was a graduate student at Columbia University in New York, I was on the verge of finishing my dissertation when I decided to make a list of ten books to read.
It was the best way to start my life, I thought, and so I did.
After a few months, I had a few more books in my library.
The books I picked included the novel The Lost Art Of Writing by James Baldwin, the memoirs of the late writer Robert Caro, the biography of the legendary poet Toni Morrison, and a collection of short stories by American novelist David Foster Wallace.
I was in awe.
The list of books I was going to read was nearly as long as the alphabet in my head.
I didn’t know why I was so excited about reading so many books.
I had no idea what books to listen to and what books I should pick.
But the list of the books I wanted to read didn’t end.
In fact, it was the opposite.
In those days, I could only get into a few books a week at a library, and the ones I did pick were mostly literary fiction.
I read The Grapes of Wrath, which is about the Civil War, by Upton Sinclair; I read William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, about the Vietnam War; and I read John Steinbeck’s The Gleaner, about an immigrant boy from Cuba who discovers he has a talent for writing.
After reading The Galt trilogy, I began to wonder if books like The Gropes of War or The Grief of War would be the books that would inspire me to write fiction.
But my interest was not limited to books about the American Civil War.
I wanted more than just novels.
I want to write about people.
The first book that came to mind was The Grosvenor House Trilogy by Patricia Highsmith.
In the first book, which Highsmith published in 1994, a man named Henry Groswald is in the throes of a divorce when his estranged wife leaves him and moves into a new house.
The Grams of the past and the Grosvelts of the future live there.
The house is the same one that Gros was raised in, the same house that Henry and his mother and sister all moved to in their childhood, and in the same family that Grams died in, after a short time.
Henry has just had his first child and has just returned from a long vacation, but the children of Gros and his family have all died, leaving his wife and son to move into the house.
But there is one difference.
In Henry’s house, the people he loves are not his children, they are his servants.
The servants of Henry Grams, and by extension Henry’s entire family, are a mixture of men and women, and their lives are constantly in flux.
Gros, a master of the silent room, is the patriarch of this family.
Grams is a master at playing his children against one another, playing the man in every scene.
Gresl is a womanizer who, unlike Henry, has the patience and the capacity to accept responsibility for his own behavior.
And Gros is a genius, a skilled writer.
In The Grammes of the Past and the Great Gross, Gros writes about the life of a man who is married to a woman who also marries a man.
His first wife, the wife of his own son, is a madam, a person who is obsessed with his sexual pleasure and the pleasure of her male clients.
His second wife, a woman of high class and education, is an artist.
She also has a son.
Her daughter is the heir to Gros’s fortune.
Gram, in The Gog, is also obsessed with women, which Gros finds distasteful.
Grap’s first wife has an affair with Gros.
Gog’s first husband, Gogel, has an infidel affair with a woman.
And in the third novel, The Grazers of the Future, Grams’ second wife is pregnant with his third child.
The children of all of these characters are constantly on the move, and Gros never really knows where he will be at any given moment.
Gropel, Gramel, and Highsmith are masters at making the world seem as if it is full of people, and they use that world as a canvas for their characters to experience and create.
The best books to start your life are those that are the most intimate and human, the ones that are about people and the people they love.
I chose to start reading the Grams trilogy because I thought it would be a great way to explore the life and the writing of Grams.
As I began reading, I found myself becoming fascinated by the lives of Gram and G