The New York Times

By the Book: Delia Owens

THE AUTHOR OF “WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING” RETURNS TO “BELOVED” EVERY NOW AND THEN: “ONE SENTENCE FROM TONI MORRISON CAN INSPIRE A LIFETIME OF WRITING.”

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: My bedside table is stacked high with prepublication galleys, but most notably “Surfacing,” the upcoming collection by the John Burroughs Medal-winner Kathleen Jamie. Her essays guide you softly along coastlines of varying continents, exploring caves, and pondering ice ages until the narrator stumbles over — not a rock on the trail, but mortality, maybe the earth’s, maybe our own, pointing to new paths forward through the forest.

Also living on my nightstand are old favorites: “A Long Long Way,” by Sebastian Barry, and “A Sudden Country,” by Karen Fisher, because I can’t find more poignant descriptive writing anywhere.

Q: What’s the last great book you read?

A: “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, which reached so deep

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