My life in books: Hannah Eaton

Hannah Eaton

Hannah Eaton - Credit: Tiffany Kubani

The author of acclaimed graphic novel Naming Monsters shares five books that have inspired her

The book I loved as a child

Private – Keep Out; Knock and Wait; One Way Only by Gwen Grant. This trilogy, about a little girl and her reassuringly discordant siblings, was not only a great remembered slice of post-war social history, but funny and brilliantly written – like Victoria Wood for nine-year-olds.

The book that inspired me as a teenager

Angela Carter’s Wise Children and the Magic Toyshop is pure joy. You are dragged along on a picaresque journey through 20th-century entertainment history by the ebullient septuagenarian Chance twins. It’s wild, south London, 1960s Gothic, and re-reading it about 40 times resulted in some very overwrought GCSE English coursework with many womb metaphors.

The book I’ve never finished

I hated A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara so much I threw it in the recycling to take it out of circulation. I like a lurid, kitschy abuse melodrama as much as the next person, but I’ll stick with Flowers in the Attic, which has deadly doughnuts, a better villain and doesn’t demand tearful reverence.

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The book that moved me most

Beloved by Toni Morrison. The adapted film is a soul-rending companion piece… the ghost-laying chorus of holy grandmas at the end. And Oprah as Sethe.

The book I’m reading now

I have four on the go: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, Theodore Zeldin’s The Hidden Pleasures of Life, Rebecca West’s The Fountain Overflows and Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel. I read the last two every year because they’re like amazing panopticons, not only of their particular positions in history and place, but also in a way that reflects your own shifting interiority each time you revisit them.

Hannah’s latest graphic novel Blackwood, about two murders which take place 65 years apart in ancient woods, is out on 17 September (Myriad, £18.99).

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