Norman Geras of Normblog regularly asks others to review a book or play that was important to them. In this article, Elizabeth Baines reviews Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. It’s a book that she read as a teen and then as an adult.
Elizabeth Baines is a prize-winning radio playwright and the author of numerous short stories as well as two novels, The Birth Machine and Body Cuts. More recently she has become an occasional actor, and has written for the theatre, producing her own stage plays, ‘Drinks with Natalie’ and the award-winning ‘O’Leary’s Daughters’.
Elizabeth Baines on Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Which book has been most important to me? Well, how would I choose? Jane Eyre or David Copperfield, both of which, aged eleven, I bought from Woolworth’s with my saved-up pocket money and which most certainly coloured my emotional landscape and increased my (already formed) determination to write? Or George Orwell’s essays, which, when I was at university, hit me right in the eyes with a clean fresh blast of political air and ensured that in future I would be aware of the politics of whatever I wrote? But wait – wasn’t I once asked this question before, and didn’t I answer unhesitatingly, ‘Wuthering Heights‘, because this novel, with its striking structure – a narrative within a narrative, yet containing other narratives, a layering of voices and perspectives – has probably had the greatest impact on my own writing