• 20 August 2021
  • KMHG Webmaster

Image: KMBS President Nicola Saker interviews Karen Walker, photographed by Rebecca McMillan Photography

Some of those who attended our recent fundraising event 'Stories, Style and Success: An Evening with Karen Walker' have asked if we can share the titles and authors Karen spoke about when discussing her earliest memories of books, the books she loved as a teenager, and her reading habits an adult. So here is a list courtesy of Karen. Happy reading!

Children's Books

Make Way for Ducklings (1941) by Robert McCloskey [We found a lovely reading of this picture book here]

Anything by Richard Scarry (1919-1994)

Anything by Dr Suess (1904-1991)


All the 20th century greats, such as:

Mrs Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf (in fact, anything by Woolf)

The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anything by Evelyn Waugh but especially the dark comedies: Decline and Fall (1928); Vile Bodies (1930); Scoop (1938) but also, of course, Brideshead Revisited (1945)

Rebecca (1938) by Daphne du Maurier

Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell 

In Pursuit of Love (1945) by Nancy Mitford

Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger 

The Old Man and the Sea (1952) by Ernest Hemingway

The Go-Between (1953) by L.P. Hartley

Bonjour Tristesse (1954) by Françoise Sagan

Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov (anything by Nabokov)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) by Truman Capote 

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) by Muriel Spark

Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller 

A Different Drummer (1962) by William Melvin Kelley

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)

The Master and Margarita (1967) by Mikhail Bulgakov

Anything by James Baldwin (1924-1987)

Grace Paley's (1922-2007) short stories 

Any of the Jeeves and Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

More recent works I loved

Lincoln in the Bardo (2017) by George Saunders

Milkman (2018) by Anna Burns

Anything by A. A. Gill (1954-2016)

Anything by David Sedaris (1956-)

Favourite KM stories

The big three:  ‘The Garden Party’, ‘The Doll’s House’ and 'At the Bay'

Am also loving her journals and letters put together by C.K. Stead


Image: Karen Walker reading P. G. Wodehouse's Indiscretions of Archie, courtesy of Fashion Quarterly NZ.

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