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Three Books That Changed Bestselling Author Scott Turow’s Life

Former lawyer who wrote 'One L,' 'Presumed Innocent' discusses his top picks

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You may know Harvard Law–educated author Scott Turow for his bestselling memoir, One L (about that first year in law school), or for his legal thriller novels that get turned into feature films (see: Presumed Innocent).

Turow now has a new novel out in Testimony, and Esquire caught up with him to discuss the three books that changed his life. Below, find the books and an excerpted quote from Turow about each of them.

Herzog by Saul Bellow – “In the 1960s, Bellow was regarded as the great living American novelist. That alone would make him a figure of interest to an aspiring writer.”

Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen – “I had my senior year [of college] off to do nothing but write fiction, and Tillie was my principal tutor. She was an autodidact—she never even finished high school—and her literary preferences helped me understand the limitations of the canon.”

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce – Having first read it in high school, Turow says, “I had never encountered anything like it, and it really did blow my mind. Of course, I wanted to be the next James Joyce at that point.”

Read full story at Esquire