Books That Inspire 2002

Border Crossing
Pat Barker

I love stumbling across an author unknown to me, finding a few well-crafted paragraphs, and rushing to find out if she has more books to devour. This helps me pace the read. If the author is prolific, I can read quickly and look forward to more good prose. If this is a first novel or has few precedents, I can read more leisurely, knowing I may have to wait for new works. I "discovered" Pat Barker reading Century's Daughter. I was gratified to find she had written Union Street and a trilogy on WWI. As I read them, I appreciated her grasp of human psychology, homosexuality, history, poetry, urban poverty, and the horrors of war. Border Crossing further highlights these themes. The world of Pat Barker's imagination allows one to understand ways of being and thinking that are alien, far outside of your experience. A good fiction writer lets you in their mental landscape to share rich insight and interpretation. I find books that provide deep descriptions of the human condition, in all its forms, inspiring.
Kathryn Haring
Associate Professor
Educational Psychology